According to an Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) update, released jointly by the Sudanese government, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP), 54 percent of South Sudanese are still severely food insecure.
The report estimates that 10,000 people are currently in catastrophe and facing an extreme lack of food, while about 1.7 million are in Emergency and another 4.6 million people are experiencing crisis levels of acute food insecurity.
While the Greater Upper Nile region continues to be the most food insecure, followed by the Greater Bahr el Ghazal region, those in catastrophe are in Yirol East of the former Lakes state and will need urgent humanitarian support to save their lives, noted the agencies.
The agencies pointed that the decrease in armed conflict has encouraged the voluntary return of farmers, increasing access to livelihoods and improving markets.
A more stable political environment has also allowed for improved delivery of humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable populations.
“With political stability and sustained peace, South Sudan could quickly recover from the crisis and boost its food production. The IPC findings are still alarming, but they also show that the revitalized peace agreement is bearing dividends and its full implementation is of utmost significance for the country,” Meshack Malo, FAO Representative in South Sudan said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
The agencies noted that despite slight improvements in food security, the number of children suffering from acute malnutrition will hit 1.3 million – the highest number recorded since the country gained independence.
The number represents a 51 percent increase from the projection at the beginning of the year.