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Friday, October 23, 2015

South Sudan 3.9m citizens face severe hunger– UN

Three United Nations agencies haveraised alarm thatestimated3.9 million South Sudanese now face severe hunger, NaijaAgroNetreports.

These agencies include Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

This was revealed in a new Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis made available to NaijaAgroNet, which although noted that the number of food insecure households has decreased - as expected - during the harvest season, it is almost 80 per cent higher than in the same period last year, as even people living in states not directly affected by conflict with its long-term effects, erratic rainfall, depleted livelihood options, high food prices, fuel costs and inflation, equally experience the downturn in a generally degraded economic environment.

They called on the parties to the conflict to grant urgent and unrestricted access to Unity State, where a newly released Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis shows that at least 30 000 people are living in extreme conditions and are facing starvation and death.  
Since the war in South Sudan began nearly two years ago, NaijaAgroNet learnt,it is the first time that an IPC analysis has found any parts of the population in phase five (catastrophe) on the five-point IPC scale.

 “This is the start of the harvest and we should be seeing a significant improvement in the food security situation across the country, but unfortunately this is not the case in places like southern Unity State, where people are on the edge of a catastrophe that can be prevented,” said WFP Country Director, ,Joyce Luma. “The people of South Sudan need peace, nutritious food and other humanitarian assistance and livelihood support to survive and rebuild their lives," she stated.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that unless unrestricted humanitarian access is urgently granted, the food insecurity could deteriorate to famine in parts of Unity State, where humanitarian assistance has been hampered by the dreadful violence and lack of access in recent months. Some displaced families say they survive on just one meal a day consisting of only fish and water lilies.

Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE

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