The Logistics Cluster and WFP Access conducted a joint mission to Kapoeta from 6 to 8 March to facilitate humanitarian access to this area following reports by the humanitarian community of challenges in delivering relief items.

Located approximately 250 km west of Juba, the people in and around Kapoeta are in dire need for humanitarian assistance, following prolonged drought spells which exacerbated an already tough food security situation. Physical access to Kapoeta is a challenge, especially during the wet season, but besides poor road conditions, a newly volatile security situation constitutes an additional constraint for humanitarian road transport to this area.

In a joint effort, a Programme Officer from WFP Access, the Head of WFP’s Torit office and a Logistics Officer from the Logistics Cluster travelled to Kapoeta searching to reopen the road axis for humanitarians to this town, both from Torit and from the border with Kenya. For UN agencies and NGOs, the road leading to the border is a key supply chain route which is used it to move supplies coming from Mombasa.

The team held discussions with community leaders and local authorities, and assessed road conditions to determine the adequate vehicles which can be used. The cluster also assessed the transport market available in the area and met with several partners to understand logistical challenges and needs.

Following the mission, the Logistics Cluster successfully coordinated the first inter-agency convoy to Kapoeta after almost two months, which included trucks from WFP, UNICEF and the American Refugee Committee. The convoy arrived at its destination on 16 March while the next one is set to depart on 30 March.