WFP Completes First Food Delivery by Boat in Upper Nile
The World Food Programme (WFP) has accomplished a historical feat by delivering a first load of aid by boat. The barge transported some five hundred metric tons of food on the Nile River from Renk to Malakal for further distribution in other Upper Nile areas struck by food shortages.
The four-day inaugural trip is considered a success by the head of the UN agency’s office in Upper Nile, Callixte Kayitare, who says there is more to come.
“Our objective is to continue using the northern corridor, bringing food from Sudan through Renk and from Renk to Malakal using the river. It is something will keep doing as it has proven to be cost-effective,” he says.
Humanitarian organizations in South Sudan continue to seek innovative ways to provide services to millions of people whose lives have been adversely affected by a civil war that has left millions displaced.
With little to no road networks, many have been forced to rely on costly air transportation to deliver services to those in dire need. As it stands, an estimated 1.2 million South Sudanese are facing hunger and malnutrition due to poor crops and scarce resources.
“This time around we carried five hundred metric tons, but in future we will carry over two thousand five hundred tons – enough supply for three months for the thirty thousand people living in the UN mission’s protection site, Malakal town and the surrounding villages,” says Callixte.
The barge is currently docked at the Nile River in Malakal, where supplies are being offloaded and transported for warehousing under the watchful eye of UN mission peacekeepers tasked with facilitating humanitarian assistance.
“I’m appealing to all our collaborators, local authorities and security forces, to support these barge operations, because this way we will be able to assist more people with the same amount of funds, even throughout the rainy season,” says Mr. Callixte.