UN agencies’ alarm at worsening hunger in South Sudan

UN agencies’ alarm at worsening hunger in South Sudan

21/12/2020

Three United Nations organizations are calling for immediate humanitarian access to parts of South Sudan’s Pibor County in Jonglei State, where people have run out of food and are facing catastrophic levels of hunger according to a new Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report released today.

The high levels of hunger are being driven by insecurity, the effects of COVID-19, the economic crisis, and the impact of flooding on livelihoods, the report said. Humanitarian assistance is needed to save lives and avert a total collapse of livelihoods in hard-to-reach areas.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) are scaling up their response, along with other humanitarian aid organizations.

“We call on all parties to stop the violence and to ensure safe humanitarian access in order to prevent an already dire situation from turning into a full-blown catastrophe,” FAO Representative in South Sudan Meshack Malo said. 

“We are extremely concerned about the increased numbers of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. These children need urgent treatment to prevent them from dying. The data leave us with no doubt about the sense of urgency for all of us - Government, donor community and humanitarian actors - to join hands and ensure all these children get the treatment they need. At the same time, we need to invest more in actions to prevent children from becoming malnourished in the first place,” UNICEF Representative in South Sudan Mohamed Ayoya said.