Southern Sudan faces worsening food shortage, UN warns

20 August 2009 – Urgent financial assistance is needed to ensure that Southern Sudan can avert severe hunger among its inhabitants, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned today, calling for over $50 million to cover the food gap.Some 22,000 metric tons of food aid will be needed, and the UN is working with the Government of Sudan, the Government of Southern Sudan, donors and humanitarian partners to secure the financing and supplies needed to ward off a crisis.

The World Food Programme (WFP) has 80,000 metric tons of food in stock, but will need more than $40 million for food and transportation costs.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) needs just over $7.5 million to provide nutritional support, while the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) requires $800,000 for its activities.

OCHA today also expressed concern over possible flooding in the area due to the late onset of seasonal rains.

Meanwhile, UNICEF is supporting this month’s mass measles and neonatal tetanus campaign in Malakal county in southern Sudan , targeting over 24,000 children between the ages of six months and five years, as well as over 30,000 women of child-bearing age.

The agency is also working with partners to implement emergency nutrition schemes in the town of Akobo , with almost 400 children having received supplementary food in the first week of August.

[original]

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