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Food Distribution Gives Hope to Families in South Sudan

Since November 2015, Plan International – in partnership with the World Food Programme – has distributed food to more than 8,600 people in a village in Awerial, in South Sudan’s Lakes State.  

Seventy percent of the village’s population was forced to flee their homes due to conflict.

Many families were forced to flee without their personal belongings.

“We left our fertile lands in Jonglei,” said one woman who regularly receives food from Plan. “We could not even harvest our lands because we were so afraid of the fighting. Our only choice was to escape.

 “We came here with nothing. Since we settled here, we have seen no rain and we depend on the food we get from Plan.”

Food distributions have been made, but new IDPs are arriving at the village daily.

Celestino Dumo, Plan field coordinator for Awerial, said that the original plan had been to provide food to the internally displaced people (IDPs) in the area, but it soon became clear that local people were also going hungry.

“The food crisis is affecting everyone,” he said.

The villagers used to receive enough food to last them an entire month, but the influx of IDPs and increasing food needs across South Sudan have meant supplies are stretched thin. 

Quantities of food supplies available are decreasing as more IDPs enter the village.

Each person now receives maize, beans, oil, and salt every month, but quantities are dwindling.

“We now have to give people half a month’s supply to ensure everyone has some form of food in their households, but that is meager,” Dumo said.

 “It is only enough to cook one meal,” said one woman, who said the supplies last 15 days at most. “We do not even have money for milling, so we pound the maize until it’s soft.” 

Beneficiaries, mostly women and girls, arrive to collect the food distributions.

The community hears when Plan is coming to distribute food from a community radio announcement broadcast three days in advance. Community leaders are also told and the message quickly spreads from family to family.

On the day of the distribution, beneficiaries – mostly women and girls – register their names and collect their share. 

Many of the men in the community have been killed in the conflict.

The men are largely absent: those who are still alive are out fishing or herding cattle. Many of them, though, were killed in the conflict, leaving their wives and daughters to fend for themselves.

You can help bring additional food and supplies to community members in South Sudan.

Plan’s supplies remain, but only enough for the next month and a half. These people need urgent help from the international community before their only source of food runs out.

Click here to help.

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