UN agency airdrops food for people walking home in southern Sudan

27 July 2005

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said today it had airdropped its fourth consignment of food to some 3,000 refugees walking through forest and swamp to their home villages in south-west Sudan after a peace agreement ended over 20 years of civil war.

The refugees, avoiding landmines by taking a 700-kilometre route from Mabia camp in Equatoria province to Deim Zubeir in West Bahr-al-Ghazal province, received 24 tons of mixed commodities on Sunday to help them cover the last 70 kilometres by this weekend, WFP said. The amount of aid WFP has dropped during the trek adds up to more than 100 tons, it added.

Food has been stockpiled at Deim Zubeir for the refugees' arrival, it said.

The number of returnees is expected to rise when the rainy season ends in September or October, but WFP said it still lacked $132 million, or 44 per cent, of the funds needed to feed an estimated 3.2 million people in the south, east and transitional areas of Sudan.


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