Central Equatoria State, News

    Relief food sale irks WFP

By Bida Elly David

World Food Programme (WFP) cautions Central Equatoria State (WFP) government against individuals selling humanitarian food meant for vulnerable people for personal profits.

WFP country director, Mary Ellen raised the concern to the state governor, Emmanuel Adil Anthony, during a meeting, on Wednesday.

Mrs. Ellen said WFP was alarmed over food insecurity facing the country and pledged to partner with the state government to alleviate the crisis.

But the WFP boss was skeptical over some state officials who divert food aid to the market.

“We need a collective effort to make sure that humanitarian food assistance is not diverted towards the market for profits for somebody else,” Ellen pointed out.

She protested that selling humanitarian items in the market for profit is against the livelihood of vulnerable people.

She urged the state government to invest more efforts with WFP towards fighting the nutritional constraints in the state.

Ellen added that humanitarian products come as a generous offer from concerned donors but are not to be diverted into the commercial sector.

“These products came as a result of the generosity of our donors, and it is important that many women and children receive the support they get,” she hinted.

Mrs. Ellen further said their meeting resolved for Governor Adil, jointly with the city council mayor, to beef out traders marketing the humanitarian products.

“The honorable governor is going to be in touch with the mayor. He is going to talk with traders to discourage them, look at where their products are coming from, and ensure that the food assistance reaches the most needy,” Ellen stated.

The WFP boss affirmed her organization’s commitment to strengthening collaborative efforts towards enhancing food production through modern technologies as the remedial solution to persistent global food insecurity.

However, the meeting between the two did not specify a date by which the recommendation would become effective.

Director Ellen said the state ought to beef up diversion of humanitarian food assistance and demanded commitment from the state leadership towards positive service delivery to the needy.

However, during the meeting, the state authority had appealed to the WFP for food assistance to combat the food insecurity in the state.

In response to the concern, Governor Emmanuel Adil Anthony conceded the emphasis to regulate food assistance from entering commercial markets.

Meanwhile, the chairperson of the Central Equatoria State Chamber of Commerce, Robert Pitia said traders are responsible for diversion of humanitarian food items into the market.

Pitia said there is no way the organization and the state government will regulate the commercialization of relief items on the market since the needy often sell them to meet other requirements.

“There is no reason for somebody who is in the market to go to the stores of humanitarians to get this food These people who are being distributed food due to a lack of money sell the food to buy other things,” he said.




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