UN Food and Agricultural Organization Kicks Off Aid Effort in South Sudan
Just today, it was announced that the United Nations Agricultural arm was going to kick off an airlift effort to bring aid to displaced families in South Sudan. The supplies, which are to be delivered to harder-to-reach parts of the country, will range from water purification tablets, to emergency food, to shelter items such as blankets, mosquito nets, and tents.
The first airlift, which was conducted only a few days ago, was aimed at helping nearly 30,000 people who have been displaced as a result of continuous warfare throughout the country. The warfare has recently affected 3/4s of a million people, causing almost 200,000 to find new, temporary homes often hundreds and thousands of miles away from their home towns and villages.
UN Creates Survival Kits for Families
In what has amounted to a very quick response to the widespread displacement, the United Nations has created survival kits for families that weigh very little. Included in these kits are mosquito nets, vegetable seeds, fishing supplies, water canteens, water purification tablets, and some light, non-perishable food.
Many of the displaced families came from towns and villages where farming provided for everyone’s needs. Because the fighting forced many families out before they were able to plant the Spring crop, these people are especially in need. UN Food and Agriculture Organization representative Karim Bah commented on the situation by saying, “It is a top priority for FAO to reach these displaced communities, who in most cases have missed the planting season this year. This operation will provide people with a short-term capacity to survive.” A UNICEF representative also commented on the situation by saying, “The majority of those who have fled recent violence are children who will not survive without basic necessities like food and clean water. This short-term response is crucial while we work on restoring services devastated by conflict.”
Though it is never good to see conflict affecting so many young children, it is good to see the UN being proactive and attempting to help these people as quickly as possible. It is tough to say how long the fighting will prevent South Sudan from realizing peace, but we will be following this situation and the people who are attempting to survive it.