S. Sudan: Extreme hunger looms on the horizon, UN rings alarm bells

Extreme hunger looms on the horizon, OCHA warns |Photo: © OCHA
Extreme hunger looms on the horizon, OCHA warns |Photo: © OCHA

In a new report released today, the United Nations for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has predicted that more than 8.3 million people are expected to face extreme food insecurity in the next few months.

“Some 8.3 million people in South Sudan are estimated to be in need of humanitarian assistance in 2021, including 310,000 refugees and asylum seekers. This is an increase from the 7.5 million people in need in 2020,” the UN agency said in its report seen by Thessherald.

The United Nations blames the rising level of food insecurity on the armed conflict and global climate change that continues to plunder the entire world.

“Humanitarian needs in South Sudan are mainly driven by the impacts of years of conflict and exacerbated by the impact of climate change,” the report said, adding that “Hunger is growing, with more than 7.2 million people projected to be severely food insecure during 2021, and with some communities facing catastrophic levels of food insecurity.”

“COVID-19 has had a devastating and multi-faceted socioeconomic impact on people, including severe economic contractions, spikes in prices of basic commodities, loss of livelihoods particularly in urban areas, increased protection risks, and disrupted access to basic services.”

“The already serious humanitarian situation has been compounded by severe flooding, affecting approximately 1 million people each year in 2019 and 2020. The South Sudanese people also continue to be highly vulnerable to epidemic diseases, due to low immunization coverage, a weak health system and poor hygiene and sanitation. Conflict, insecurity and natural disasters have displaced nearly 4 million people since 2013.”

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