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Food distributions ongoing in conflict-torn Gulu

Food distributions in Uganda’s wracked northern town of Gulu are ongoing due to loans and borrowing from in-country stocks of other programmes such as the refugee programme, WFP in Kampala confirmed to IRIN on Tuesday.

“Funds for the project did not come in on time, so funds from other projects had to be taken since food distribution is an ongoing activity,” the food agency said. Food distributions in this area had been temporarily restricted to priority nutritional programmes because of lack of food.

“Lack of food stocks as well as insecurity resulted in low levels of food delivery during the months of December and January. In December, in Gulu, 47 percent of targeted beneficiaries were served, while in January the percentage fell to 23 percent,” a UN humanitarian update said.

WFP’s emergency operation requires close to 58,000 mt of food annually for 347,000 displaced persons in Gulu and Kitgum, the report noted.

Meanwhile, a joint WFP-Famine Early Warning System (FEWS) January food security assessment of several districts in Uganda found no evidence of famine as had been reported in the national newspapers.

“Food aid may be required on a short term basis between now and the next harvest in June/July,” the team said. It recommended close monitoring of the situation in the coming months.
The team noted that in Rakai district, 20,000-25,000 people continue to experience food scarcity due to flooding, late rains and no rains in 1998 coupled with limited employment and income opportunities.

Although well-distributed rains began across all of southern Uganda in early March, signalling the start of the agricultural season, Uganda’s department of meteorology is predicting normal to below normal rainfall for eastern and central districts. Districts of concern, according to the team, include Masaka, Mpigi, Kiboga, Luwero, Nakasongola, Kamuli, Mukono, Jinja, Iganga and Bugiri.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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