JUBA, 15 April 2021 – Over seven million people in South Sudan will suffer acute food insecurity over the coming few months, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) has warned.
“This coming lean season 7.24 million will suffer from severe food insecurity – including 1.4 million children and young mothers who will suffer from malnutrition, and that is the situation we are responding to,” said WFP representative in South Sudan Matthew Hollingworth.
“We need to act and focus all our resources and energy on it in order to mitigate and stop this potential catastrophic food insecurity – to stop potential famine,” Hollingworth told reporters during a briefing in the capital, Juba.
The US government has said it is contributing $95m in additional humanitarian assistance for those affected by ongoing political conflict and extreme food shortages.
Insecurity is still rife in South Sudan, notably across the most fertile parts of the country, despite efforts by the country’s unity government, formed in February 2020 in an effort to end six years of brutal civil war.
Many farmers have been forced to flee their homes, abandoning their crops, skipping planting seasons, or failing to harvest crops.
The food shortage has been made worse by lockdowns imposed in an effort to contain rising cases of COVID-19.
Earlier this week, South Sudan’s government lifted the lockdown it had imposed in early February 2021 as COVID-19 infection cases skyrocketed.
As of Friday, South Sudan had confirmed 10,416 COVID-19 cases with 114 fatalities and 10,148 full recoveries, according to public health information, the World Health Organization, and Johns Hopkins University Hospital.