Seven million face ‘acute’ food insecurity in South Sudan, says UN

More than seven million people in fragile South Sudan are at risk of acute food insecurity in the coming months, including tens of thousands at a “catastrophic” level of famine, the United Nations warned Tuesday.

“An estimated 7.1 million people will likely be experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity between April and July 2024,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement.

Within that group there are “79,000 people at risk of Catastrophic level (IPC Phase 5)” — equivalent to famine — “mostly in locations affected by climate-related shocks, economic crisis and conflict,” it said.

Almost 13 years after its independence in 2011, the world’s youngest country remains plagued by instability and violence.

A total of nine million people are in need of humanitarian aid in South Sudan, which for the past year has been under compounding pressure from the war in neighbouring Sudan.

Since the fighting began in April 2023, at least 670,000 people have fled to South Sudan from the north, according to OCHA. Of those, some 80 per cent are South Sudanese who had previously taken refuge in Sudan.

“This influx of returnees and refugees continues to put additional pressure on limited services at border points and areas of destination,” OCHA said.

The UN’s $1.8 billion humanitarian response plan for South Sudan this year is currently only 11 per cent funded.

Source:

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