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Crisis in South Sudan
South Sudan is facing unprecedented levels of food insecurity, as 2.8 million people – nearly 25 percent of the country’s population – remain in urgent need of food assistance and the outlook for 2016 remains dire. Humanitarian partners have released an update to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis which projects that the lean season will start early this year, and the hunger period will be longer than in previous years.
Of particular concern are the 40 000 people in conflict-affected Unity State who are experiencing a Catastrophe, which could deteriorate to famine without immediate humanitarian access and assistance. People displaced in Unity State, who have been living on fish and water lilies to survive, are running out of their only remaining sources of food as the floods recede. Livestock raiding has robbed many people of essential animal products like milk, which were their main means of survival during last year’s lean season.
For this reason, the UN agencies are calling for a speedy implementation of the peace agreement signed last year, and for unrestricted access to conflict areas to deliver much needed supplies to the most affected areas.
FAO and partners’ efforts in humanitarian assistance have reduced the number of people in Crisis and Emergency Phases. However, adverse weather, insecurity and insufficient funding continue to hinder deliveries. FAO will continue to scale up its support to both respond to urgent needs triggered by the current crisis, as well as continue to protect livelihoods and uphold programmes in less-affected states.
As part of FAO’s Emergency Livelihood Response Programme for 2016, in the worst-hit states (Central and Eastern Equatoria, Jonglei, Lakes, Unity and Upper Nile), the Organization is focusing on distributing emergency livelihood kits (including crop and nutrient-dense vegetable seeds and minimal-harm tools), while in calmer states (Northern and Western Bahr el-Ghazal, Warrap and Western Equatoria), FAO is concentrating on protecting and boosting food production by improving local availability of quality seed and planting materials and facilitating technology transfer through farmer field schools.
The risk of livestock disease outbreaks has been heightened by the conflict as the cold chain system for vaccine storage and distribution has broken down, and non-traditional livestock movements lead to the intermingling of vaccinated and unvaccinated herds. Unusual livestock movements and concentrations also risk worsening tensions between pastoral and farming communities, as well as raise concerns about increased cattle raiding.
FAO is distributing vaccines and veterinary supplies to enable rapid preventative vaccination campaigns, while equipping and retraining community-based animal health workers to provide basic, on-the-move health care to migrating herds. Distributions are ongoing and FAO is ensuring that conflict-affected populations have what they need to farm, fish and protect their livestock.
FAO’s response programme has been made possible thanks to the generous support from the Governments of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Norway, the Swiss Confederation, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, the Africa Solidarity Trust Fund, the European Union, the UN’s Common Humanitarian Fund and additional allocations of unearmarked funding by FAO.