Africa-Press – South-Sudan. Over 220,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), including returnees in Rubkona County of Unity State have started receiving food aid from the World Food Programme (WFP). This distribution marks the first assistance in more than five months, following WFP’s suspension of food distribution in July.
The chairperson of Bentiu IDP camp, John Tor Riek, told Radio Tamazuj on Friday that those who received the food aid arrived at the camp in April, fleeing the conflict in Sudan. This relief effort, carried out on Tuesday this week, addresses the pressing needs of a community that has endured five months of hardship.
Riek shared that the current distribution includes two months’ worth of provisions, and plans are in place to distribute more in the coming month. “The community, which has endured five months of hardship, has received two months’ worth of aid, including returnees who have experienced the conflict in Sudan. Seven people share one bag of sorghum every month,” Tor explained.
“I have alerted the security personnel at the border to turn away those who are attempting to return to Sudan. There is no reason for them to go back while we have received a two-month supply of food,” Tor said.
One of the beneficiaries, Nyaneng Guol, said: “We have received food from the World Food Programme (WFP). After enduring five months without food in the area, we finally received our supplies on Tuesday.”
She acknowledged WFP’s support, saying, “The food has been sufficient for us since Tuesday, covering all of Sector One with its nine blocks. The Bentiu IDP camp is divided into five sectors; one sector has already received food rations.”
“We are now left with four sectors in the Bentiu IDP camp, starting with sector four, followed by sector three, sector five, and sector two,” she added.
Meanwhile, Peter Koang Gai, another resident at the Bentiu IDP camp, said; “After five months without any food distribution from July to November, we have now received a two-month supply. I appreciate WFP for the timely distribution of food items, providing relief to all internally displaced persons who have been enduring hardship for an extended period.”
WFP staff in Bentiu could not immediately be reached for comment.
In South Sudan 9.4 million, including 5.5 million children require humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs in 2023 as a result of multiple compounding shocks, including conflict, flooding, and a worsening economic situation, according to UN figures.