1.7m people face extreme hunger as WFP decries cash crunch

1.7m people face extreme hunger as WFP decries cash crunch
WFP volunteers distributing food to families affected by hunger in South Sudan. [Phto: WFP]

Over 1.7 million South Sudanese could suffer the pangs of hunger after World Food Programme (WFP) suspended direct assistance to families of beneficiaries across 36 counties.

The drastic decision was taken due to limited funding to the organization.

‘‘These cuts will have a particularly devastating effect on some of the most vulnerable groups who will no longer receive a social safety net, including nutrition programs for women and children, and 178,000 children who will not receive school meals in the deprioritised areas,” read a WFP report seen by The City Review.

The humanitarian agency said the reprioritisation is necessary to ensure continuity of assistance to 4.48 million people in areas with the highest levels of food insecurity and malnutrition as per IPC results.

WFP further said rations will remain reduced, as they can only provide half of the minimum food basket to most populations and 70 per cent of rations to areas that already have famine conditions.

“To continue strengthening the capacities and resilience of communities, WFP will continue the food assistance for assets, smallholder agriculture market support and urban safety net programs, as well as prioritizing the life-saving programs for the treatment of moderate acute malnutrition across the country,” the statement said.

The agency plans to help 6 million people by the year 2022. As of April 2022, 1.41 million people have been assisted. Of these, 87,000 in IPC 4, 4.7 million in IPC 3.