By John Agaba and Mary Machocho
The World Food Program (WFP) is set to distribute 240 metric-tonnes of maize meal and 43 metric-tonnes of beans worth $272000 (about sh716m) to about 50, 000 South Sudanese Refugees in Uganda.
The money was contributed by the French Government.
On Friday, the French Ambassador to Uganda, Sophie Makame, visited the WFP stores in Nalukolongo, Kampala, where the food is currently stored, awaiting transportation and distribution to the refugees next week.
There are about 118,000 South Sudanese refugees in Uganda since fighting erupted in the World’s youngest nation mid-December 2013.
The Ambassador said “France is deeply committed to humanitarian actions, considering it as the primarily expression of vital solidarity with victims of disasters or armed conflicts.”
WFP Country Representative, Alice Martin-Daihirou, commending the French, said WFP supports over 300,000 refugees world-wide.
“WFP is extremely grateful to France for this contribution which was among the first received when the first refugees arrived in Uganda. Without the support of generous and committed donors such as France, WFP is unable to meet the food needs of the growing number of South Sudanese refugees and others already in the settlement areas,” Martin-Daihirou said.
She said the influx of South Sudanese refugees into West Nile is continuing and each refugee that arrives “needs food assistance from WFP.”
“WFP and other partners are required to assist all refugees in transit centres and settlements until they can provide food for themselves from land given to them by the Government of Uganda,” Martin-Daihirou said.
The French Government has also given 100, 000 Euros to support the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), in water-trucking in Adjumani and Arua districts that are home to most of the refugees.
Geoffrey Ebong from the WFP said about 200 South Sudanese continue to enter Uganda through the Arua and Adjumani border districts.
“When they come, with assistance from the Office of the Prime Minister and the UNHCR, they are registered and we (WFP) have to give them a meal before they are transported to the transit centers.”
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