Food assistance, reintegration and dependency in Southern Sudan

Research reports and studies
May 2009
Sarah Bailey and Simon Harragin

In Southern Sudan, food aid has been provided for more than two decades – since before the signing of the Operation Lifeline Sudan agreement in 1989. The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement created hopes of an imminent move from relief assistance to recovery and development, as well as the large-scale return of many of the estimated four million people displaced because of the war. Now, four years on from the signing of the CPA, the return process has seen more than two million people return to Southern Sudan. While a number of studies have been undertaken to examine the wider processes of reintegration, none has focused specifically on the role of food assistance in promoting reintegration in areas of return, and none has looked in depth at dependency.

This study, commissioned by the World Food Programme (WFP), examines both the process of re-integrating displaced people and the role WFP food aid and other forms of WFP food assistance have been playing in assisting returning households since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in South sudan. It also explores the influence of the concept of dependency on policy and programming, and whether dependency on food aid is influencing the livelihood strategies of returnees and host communities.

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