The UN World Food Program (WFP) in South Sudan has announced plans to airlift and drop fast-food packages – including fried chicken, chips and soda and bottled water – to the thousands with the highest risk of starvation, and – if successful – gradually replace the supply of unprocessed food aid such as corn and beans which has proven ineffective for victims already too weak to do much.
The announcement comes just days after the humanitarian organization received criticism for the supply of unprocessed food aid that normally takes too much time and energy before people at risk of starvation could eat them.
According to critics, fast-food meals such as fried chicken, chips and some frizzy drinks or just distilled bottled water could save many people who would otherwise have to grind or process the corn, fetch clean drinking water from wells kilometres away and so on.
There news was generally welcomed, but like everything else that has been tried in South Sudan, not everything is as plain as it seems.
According to a representative of the Nuer Community in Toronto and Atlanta (NuCTA), this development is will not benefit their kind.
“KFC or not, our the Nuer people traditionally do not eat birds and chickens. If the chips is from potatoes, our people might not even eat it.. Maybe Equatorians will like it – they eat insects, birds, rats everything… ”
He suggested that WFP should consider other fast-food packages that do not include chicken and have meals that are not too spicy.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management has requested samples of the packages before it can approve its distribution inside South Sudan.
“We are concerned about the quality and standard of the fast-food that WFP has proposed to airdrop to our people in remote areas. We do not want to go from a situation of famine where people die from malnutrition to one of obesity where people die from eating too much fat. We have asked WFP to include some salad and greens. I am sure we shall work out something soon,” said a spokesperson from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.