South Sudan looters steal food to feed 220,000 for a month: U.N.

GENEVA Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:29am EST

South Sudanese refugee children eat near a border gate in Joda, in the Jableen locality in Sudan's White Nile State, after arriving from the South Sudanese war zones of Malakal and al-Rank, January 16, 2014. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

South Sudanese refugee children eat near a border gate in Joda, in the Jableen locality in Sudan's White Nile State, after arriving from the South Sudanese war zones of Malakal and al-Rank, January 16, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations World Food Programme estimates that it may have lost more than 3,700 tonnes of food in looting in South Sudan, enough to feed 220,000 people for a month, WFP spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said on Friday.

WFP's warehouses in Malakal had been almost entirely emptied, she told a regular U.N. briefing in Geneva. The agency was working to recover lost stocks wherever possible and trying to protect remaining stocks, she said.

(Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Mike Collett-White)