Risk of full-blown famine in South Sudan: UN

2016-06-29 21:20
(iStock)

(iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Juba - Over a third of South Sudanese face starvation as the war-torn nation runs the risk of a full-blown famine, the UN and government said on Wednesday.

Despite a peace deal to end civil war, nearly five million people - more than ever before in the world's youngest nation - need food aid to survive.

"The risk of famine cannot be ruled out," Minster for Agriculture Lam Akol said, a warning backed by the UN.

Civil war erupted in South Sudan in December 2013, but rebel chief Riek Machar returned to the capital in April as part of a peace deal which saw him become vice president, forging a unity government with President Salva Kiir.

Aid workers have been able to access some of the hardest hit areas since then, but violence continues between multiple militia forces who now pay no heed to either Kiir or Machar.

"The level of food insecurity this year is unprecedented," the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), UN children's agency Unicef and the World Food Programme (WFP) said in a joint statement.

"Up to 4.8 million people in South Sudan - well over one-third of the population - will be facing severe food shortages over the coming months, and the risk of a hunger catastrophe continues," they added.

Akol, reading from a UN-backed specialised hunger assessment called the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report, singled out areas of the Unity and Bahr el Ghazal regions as the hardest hit.

Malnutrition

Conditions in some areas there during the IPC analysis showed indicators within the most severe category, "catastrophe" or "phase five". Famine is declared when those conditions are faced by a fifth of the population, the technical threshold.

"The levels of malnutrition among children continue to be truly alarming," said Unicef chief in South Sudan Mahimbo Mdoe.

In addition, the world's youngest country is struggling to stem soaring inflation caused by the war, rampant corruption and the near collapse of the oil industry upon which the vast percentage of government foreign exchange earnings depend.

The government has cancelled celebrations for its fifth anniversary of independence on July 9.

Over 100 000 children have been treated for severe malnutrition this year, a 40% increase compared to 2015, and a 150% increase since 2014, Mdoe added.

Tens of thousands have died in the civil war and two million forced to flee their homes.

All sides have been accused of perpetrating ethnic massacres, recruiting and killing children and carrying out widespread rape, torture and forced displacement of populations to "cleanse" areas of their opponents.

Read more on:    un  |  south sudan  |  aid

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.