UN warns that seven million people in South Sudan are experiencing ‘acute’ food insecurity

5 days ago
UN warns that seven million people in South Sudan are experiencing ‘acute’ food insecurity

The United Nations issued a warning on Tuesday, stating that over seven million people in vulnerable South Sudan are facing acute food insecurity in the near future. Among them, tens of thousands are at a critical level, teetering on the brink of famine.

According to a statement from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), approximately 7.1 million individuals are expected to face significant levels of acute food insecurity from April to July 2024.

Among this group are 79,000 individuals facing a Catastrophic level of food insecurity (IPC Phase 5), which is comparable to famine. These individuals are primarily located in areas that have been impacted by climate-related disasters, economic instability, and conflict.

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 percent 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 percent funded.