Insecurity Preventing Humanitarian Aid to Famine-Declared Regions in South Sudan
By admin March 1, 2017

Photo By Nikita Sypko

On February 20, 2017, the state of famine was formally declared in several regions in South Sudan. Indeed, from February to July 2017, in the regions of Leer and Mayendit, famine has been declared and in Koch, it has been classified as a region where famine is likely to happen. When a formal declaration of famine is issued, this means that people have already died of hunger.

Because it was impossible to gather a full set of quantitative data on allowing for the precise measurements of the advancement of famine in these regions, the declaration were based on available data and professional judgment of the Global Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) Emergency Review Committee and South Sudan IPC Technical Working Group (SS IPC TWG) members.

This is the most alarming hunger crisis in the country since the beginning of the war nearly three years ago. The conflict that opposes the Army loyal to President Salva Kiir, to the army backing First Vice-President Riek Machar has made it, at times, too dangerous for humanitarian aid to access the regions in most dire need of help. Indeed, during clashes in Jonglei state, humanitarian bases were looted and workers were forced out of the Mayendit County, one of the most impacted regions.

In response, the UN Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) published a release addressing the issue. Eugene Owusu, the Humanitarian Coordinator in the country said that: “The people of South Sudan are suffering beyond measure. [The famine] represents only the most extreme tip of the iceberg of needs in this country,” he insisted that it was therefore primordial that “humanitarians are able to act swiftly and robustly”.

This call by the UN comes after a series of incidents that have blocked humanitarian operations and, at the same time, the president of South Sudan has called for appeasement to allow safe access to humanitarian aid. The lack of access to these famine-declared regions deprives the population of crucial care. Almost 100,000 people face starvation and one million are facing famine if the situation does not improve. Moreover, by July of this year, 5.5 million people could face severe food insecurity across the country according to the OCHA.

The heads of three UN agencies, Jose Graziano Da Silva, Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Anthony Lake, Executive Director of the The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and Ertharin Cousin Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), issued a joint call for urgent action to help people facing starvation in South Sudan.

As a response to this crisis, humanitarian organizations are therefore calling for urgent funding. Indeed, it is estimated that 1.6 billion USD is required to provide life-saving assistance to over 5.8 million people in South Sudan in 2017. International organizations are coordinating their efforts, as it is crucial to respond quickly to prevent this crisis from escalating in the coming months.


Read More:

Famine Declared In Region Of South Sudan – Un

Integrated Food Security Phase Classification: Republic Of South Sudan

Relief Web: Humanitarian Coordinator Calls For Urgent Access As Needs Surge In South Sudan

South Sudan: Un Official Calls For Unfettered Relief Access To Avert Further Catastrophe

Joint Fao/Unicef/Wfp Statement On Famine In South Sudan

Thanks for sharing !

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