High levels of food insecurity in South Sudan

High levels of food insecurity in South Sudan

08/02/2012

FAO-WFP report says poor harvests, price hikes, conflict, displacement worsen hunger - Millions of people in South Sudan will face hunger this year if urgent action is not taken, according to a joint report issued by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

The FAO-WFP report "Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission to South Sudan", is based on a joint mission conducted in the world’s newest nation between October and November 2011 at the request of the government of South Sudan's Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The report finds that the level of food insecurity in the country has risen sharply. The number of food-insecure people has jumped from 3.3 million in 2011 to 4.7 million in 2012. Of those, about one million people are severely food insecure, compared to 900,000 in 2011.

If conflict continues to cause major population displacements and food prices keep rising, the report estimates that the number of people who are severely food-insecure could double. Poor harvests, increased demand, rapidly rising prices, conflict, displacements and a large number of returnees have all contributed to the situation, with a shortfall in cereal production weighing heavily on already distressed communities." "This is a rapidly approaching crisis that the world cannot afford to ignore," said Chris Nikoi, WFP's country director in South Sudan. "The situation is dire, and we are doing everything we can to be ready, but we are running out of time.".