WFP distributes food in Malakal PoC following insecurity last week.
Highlights from the January 2016 South Sudan Market Price Bulletin.
WFP reaches more than 1.1 million people with food assistance in January 2016.
Violence erupted in the Malakal UNMISS Protection of Civilian (PoC) site 17-18 February, resulting in 18 people dead, 50 injured and thousands displaced. WFP immediately began distributing emergency rations of High Energy Biscuits in the PoC. On 21 February, WFP started its monthly distribution to the roughly 40,000 people still sheltering in the site—including general food ration and nutrition supplements. This will likely be completed by the end of the week. WFP and other agencies are working to locate those displaced from the PoC as a result of the fighting and determine the course of action to provide them with assistance safely.
On 22 February, WFP South Sudan’s Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping unit released its January 2016 Market Price Bulletin. Highlights of the report:
Inflation: In January 2016, the annual inflation rate increased by 165%, mainly due to elevated costs of transport, bread and cereals. The rising cost of living is putting additional pressure on households that depend on markets, particularly urban poor and vulnerable populations in rural areas.
Exchange rate: Due to severe dollar shortages, the divergence between the official and parallel exchange rates continued to widen, two months after the government dropped the fixed rate system and adopted the floating regime. It is feared that the evolving situation could exacerbate an already persistent vicious cycle of economic shocks.
Cost of locally produced grains and imported staples: In January 2016, the prices of staple food commodities such as sorghum, maize, beans, wheat flour, sugar showed an atypical seasonal increase in most of the monitored markets. Low local production, below average production in Sudan, increased cost of imports, insecurity and closure of the Western transport corridor were the main factors explaining increased stable food prices.