Hunger looms for thousands of refugees in South Sudan - WFP

Kigali, Rwanda (PANA) - As South Sudan enters its fifth year of conflict, up to 7.1 million people in the country —  the highest number ever — will be severely food insecure at the height of the lean season from mid-May to July,  the United Nations (UN) World Food Programme (WFP) warned Thursday in a statement made available to PANA in Kigali.

The UN agency said it was now working hard to scale-up food assistance to reach up to 4.8 million people at the peak of the response in June and July.

The situation (in South Sudan) is likely to get worse unless a sustained and comprehensive humanitarian response is mounted, it said.

It is a race against time to preposition 140,000 metric tons of food before many communities weakened by years of conflict become inaccessible by road due to the rains, which cut access to 60 percent of the country, the statement added.

According to WFP, food shortages pose a serious risk of malnutrition to refugees in South Sudan, and may provoke a wider humanitarian crisis.

Latest humanitarian reports indicate that renewed violence in South Sudan, compounded by drought and the threat of famine, has led to the fastest growing refugee situation in Africa today and the world’s third biggest refugee crisis.

It is said that over one-third of South Sudan’s estimated 12 million citizens are displaced, while more than half of the population is affected by the crisis, and nearly two million Internally Displaced People (IDPs) are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.  

Severe food insecurity further exacerbates the situation, leading to massive displacement and movements across the borders, with many refugee children facing alarming levels of malnutrition.

"Rge cpuntry isfacing unprecedented levels of food insecurity as conflict and economic collapse continue to destroy lives and livelihoods," the UN agency said.

Depreciation of the South Sudanese pound has also caused a hike in food prices. Inflation is spiralling out of control at 125%, eroding both the purchasing power and the food security of households reliant on markets, it said.
-0- PANA TWA/MA10May2018

10 مايو 2018 11:53:32




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