SOUTH SUDAN: ‘CONCRETE’ FAMINE RISK FOR WAR-TORN UNITY STATE PROMPTS RENEWED AID CALL FROM SAVE THE CHILDREN
Save the Children calls for unrestricted immediate humanitarian access, including emergency food aid, to Unity State in South Sudan where an estimated 30,000 people risk famine according to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification agency (IPC). More than two million people have been forced to flee their homes since violent conflict erupted between government troops and rebel factions in December 2013, leaving them highly vulnerable to food and nutrition insecurities.
The South Sudanese Government-led IPC’s latest ‘Food Security and Nutrition Analysis’ warned that, as a result of long-standing conflict across the country – coupled with high food prices, erratic rainfall patterns, and severely limited humanitarian supplies reaching the most vulnerable - there is a ‘concrete risk of famine’ occurring between October and December 2015 [in Unity State] if vital aid is not immediately provided to the worst-affected areas.
“For decades, we have been confronted with heart-breaking stories and images that have proved beyond all reasonable doubt that children are the most vulnerable when it comes to food insecurity – and, as a result, they suffer the most,” says Peter Walsh, Save the Children’s country director in South Sudan.
“We have consistently called for unrestricted humanitarian access to ensure that life-saving services are able to reach children. That call has never been more urgent than now.”
Relatively stable states including Northern Bahr el-Ghazal, Lakes, Warrap and the Greater Equatoria states have also been affected by deteriorating food security, with an estimated 3.9 million people now classified as severely food insecure and unable to meet their food needs – an 80 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.