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Sudan OCHA bulletin 22: WFP voucher programme severely underfunded

June 7 - 2015 KHARTOUM

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan reported in its latest weekly bulletin that the funding for cash and voucher assistance by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) is facing a severe shortfall.

A complete break in funding is anticipated from July onwards. WFP estimates the extent of this funding shortfall at almost $24.8 million, including $18.4 million in transfer value for the next six months.

In response, WFP has already halted a number of expansion plans and will likely cut rations in some locations for the month of June.

If no urgent funds are mobilised however, WFP may have to further disrupt the voucher distribution cycle with more extensive ration cuts or even complete suspension of the programme. This puts almost 500,000 people, mostly displaced, at risk of receiving no voucher assistance from September onwards.

WFP is urgently requesting donors to make available any additional funds to prevent closure of the programme, the OCHA bulletin reads.

Returnees from Chad

A return verification mission to El Tina and Karnoi localities in North Darfur confirmed that some 16,800 refugees have returned from Chad to their home villages in the localities since 2006. The main livelihood activities of the returnees are farming and animal rearing.

As these returns were spontaneous, the returnees did not receive assistance with their journey back. The return areas lack basic services, as no external assistance has been provided to date. The mission also found that some returnees still commute daily between El Tina locality and Chad, returning to the latter for shopping.

South Sudanese in Sudan

In response to the continued insecurity in Unity and Upper Nile states, 6,073 South Sudanese fled to Sudan between 21 and 27 May, according to UNHCR. 4,007 refugees of them entered into White Nile state, another 1,838 refugees arrived in the eastern part of South Kordofan, and a group of less than 300 refugees fled to Khartoum. These recent arrivals bring the total number of South Sudanese refugees who have arrived in Sudan since December 2013, to 149,436 people.

UNICEF and WFP, in partnership with the Sudanese Ministry of Health and national NGOs aid continue to provide nutrition services to the White Nile refugee camps. Since January 2015, 531 children under five with severe acute malnutrition have been admitted to the therapeutic feeding programme, and 924 children with moderate acute malnutrition have received treatment.

The water supply and sanitation situation still falls below standards for most of the refugee sites in White Nile, as persistent population increases continue to overstretch already limited resources, OCHA Sudan reported.

Government endorses anti-trafficking strategy

The Sudanese government launched the 2015-2017 Joint Strategy to Address Human Trafficking, Kidnappings and Smuggling of Persons in Sudan, with UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), on 27 May.

The launch ceremony showcased the government’s endorsement of the Strategy and continued cooperation with UNHCR and IOM in combating human trafficking in the country. The joint strategy lays out further measures, including the strengthening of security structures, and providing assistance to the victims, OCHA said in its 22nd bulletin of this year.

Unicef, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) are also co-signatories of the Strategy.

USAID food contribution

On 27 May, 47,500 tons of sorghum arrived in Port Sudan. The food shipment is part of the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) overall contribution of $135 million to the WFP for 2015, and is enough to feed 1.8 million people for three months.

A portion of the food supply will be pre-positioned in remote areas of South Kordofan and White Nile states, where vulnerable populations face ongoing conflict and displacement.

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