7.8 million hungry in South Sudan: families fractured by food scarcity and conflict
Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) report findings:
- Approximately two-thirds of the population are now food insecure: some 7.8 million people are in Phases 2, 3 and 4 of food insecurity.
- 3.8 million people are currently severely hungry, expected to increase to 4.6 million by the end of July, a number bigger than ever projected, affecting 40% of the population.
- 800,000 people are in emergency levels of hunger, facing extreme and dangerous food shortages. The analysis was undertaken before the recent escalation of the war, so it is expected that for thousands of people in South Sudan, the outlook is now even worse.
- Malnutrition levels have skyrocketed with children under the age of five years, pregnant and lactating mothers being the most affected, susceptible to disease and even death. 80% of counties in Greater Upper Nile, Warrap, and Northern Bahr El Ghazal states are at a critical level of malnutrition.
- The number of severely hungry people is expected to reduce to 2.8 million by September after the first main harvest of the season.
- Most people are receiving some form of humanitarian food assistance.
- The traditional ‘lean season’ – a time when people rely on stocks - began two months early in some of the worst-off areas.
- Fifteen locations of the country would be classified as Phase 4 or Emergency food insecurity if not for humanitarian assistance. These specific areas are in Rubkona, Guit, Koch, Mayendit, Panyijar, Akobo, Uror, Ayod, Twic East, Duk and Minkaman both with internally displaced persons, and Protection of Civilian (POC) sites in Bentiu, Malakal, Bor and Juba.
- A report released by FAO and WFP showed an encouraging 17 percent increase in net cereal production in 2014. Gains in less conflict-affected areas must be protected.
- Funding for longer term development programmes in less conflict-affected parts of the country needs to be maintained to build resilience and protect improvements that have been made there.
Faith Kasina, in Juba on +211 (0) 955 477 540
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