1.25 million face starvation in South Sudan
Nearly 1.25 million people in South Sudan are facing starvation, according to a report by the United Nations and the government today.
Aid agencies and the government warned that the country could once again plunge into famine next year, while blaming the worsening situation on the ongoing civil war.
In February, famine was declared in two counties in Unity region, where 100,000 people were facing starvation but humanitarians managed to avoid hunger there.
However, the latest food and security analysis update by the UN and South Sudan's National Bureau of Statistics indicate that as of September, 6 million people, 56 percent of the population, were experiencing severe hunger with 25,000 South Sudanese in humanitarian catastrophe in Ayod and Greater Baggari counties.
Speaking during a press conference in Juba, Isaiah Chol Aruai, chairperson of South Sudan’s National Bureau of Statistic, said the IPC classifications already assume a significant level of humanitarian assistance will occur according to plans and any failure to provide humanitarian assistance would result into severe food insecurity in 2018.
“Humanitarian assistance is critical in averting emergency deteriorating to catastrophic levels. Access to affected population remains a challenge due to insecurity, with reported cases of access constraints increasing in 2017,” Chol said.
He reiterated the government’s commitment to make peace through the national dialogue and revitalization of the 2015 peace agreement. “It is our conviction that peace and stability will set the stage for reliance and this will reduce food insecurity,” he said.
"2018 will be critical," said Serge Tissot from the U.N's Food and Agricultural Organization. He said the only way to avoid deterioration in the short term is peace.