WFP Begins Series Of Air Drops To Deliver Food To Refugees In South Sudan
“The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) carried out the first in a series of air drops to replenish rapidly diminishing food stocks for more than 100,000 people in South Sudan who have fled fighting in Sudan,” the U.N. News Centre reports (8/15). “The refugees are severely malnourished going for days without supplies after being driven from their homes by the violence,” Examiner.com notes (Lambers, 8/15). “The first air drops were made Wednesday in Maban County in Upper Nile state,” the Associated Press/Washington Post writes, adding that camps there — “along with another in the region called Yida — have received more than 160,000 refugees who have fled war on the other side of the border in Sudan.” According to the AP, “WFP plans to deliver up to 2,000 metric tons of food to Maban over the coming days and weeks” (8/16).
“It is the first time in more than three years that the WFP has dropped food from the air,” Agence France-Presse notes. “‘It is never WFP’s first choice and this is a sign of the increasing urgency,’ said [WFP spokeswoman Challis McDonough], who added that about two-thirds of Upper Nile was inaccessible because of flooding in the rainy season,” the news service writes (8/16). “The United States and aid groups have warned there is a risk of famine in both [Sudan and South Sudan], especially in areas held by rebels,” Reuters adds (Ngor, 8/14).