Donate to the East Africa food crisis appeal Since November 2015, Plan International has distributed food to 8,660 people from Awerial in South Sudan’s Lakes State in partnership with the World Food Programme. Around 70% of these people were forced to flee their homes in Jonglei state because of the ongoing conflict in the country.
“We left our fertile lands in Jonglei,” says one woman who regularly receives food from Plan International. “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 International.”
Celestino Dumo, Plan International Field Coordinator for Awerial, says that the original plan had been to provide food to the internally displaced people in the area but it soon became clear that local people were also going hungry. “The food crisis is affecting everyone,” he says.
The villagers used to receive enough food to last them an entire month but the influx of internally displaced people and increasing food needs across South Sudan have meant supplies are stretched much more thinly.
Each person now receives 7.5kg of sorghum or maize, 1.5 kg beans, 0.45 kg oil and salt every month.
we depend on the food we get from Plan International
“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 meagre,” Dumo says.
Another woman who receives this food says it lasts her family 15 days at most. “It is only enough to cook one meal,” she says. “We do not even have money for milling, so we pound the maize until it’s soft.”
The community hears when Plan International is coming to distribute food from a community radio announcement broadcast 3 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.
Men are largely absent, however. Those that are still alive are out fishing or herding cattle. Most of them, though, were killed in the conflict, leaving their wives and daughters to fend for themselves.
Plan International’s stocks are running out. Supplies remain but only enough for the next month and a half and there is no oil for cooking. These people need urgent help from the international community before their only source of food runs out.