More than half population food insecure- UN, Gov’t

By Nema Juma

More than half the population face hunger despite some improvement in the food security situation since June 2019, UN agencies, and the government said yesterday.

According to an Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) update, released jointly by the Government of the Republic of South Sudan, 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 people in South Sudan are still severely food insecure.

The report said that 6.35 million people do not know where their next meal will come from.

Mr. John Maciek Acuoth, the Deputy Chairperson of South Sudan Bureau of Statistics, however said that there is improvement in the food security situation during the 2019 lean season as compared to last year.

“The greater equatorial region that had seen significant deterioration in its food security situation in the recent times, is slowly recovering and we anticipate that if the trend continues, the region will soon resume its role as the nation’s bread basket,” Mr. Maciek said.

He attributed this to the improved access to livelihood opportunity as well as greater access by the humanitarian actors to the most vulnerable population.

“We are still far from the complete recovery,” Maciek said.

The report also projected that an estimated 1.3million children aged between 6 to 59 months are likely to suffer from a cute malnutrition in 2020 and the highest burden of a cute malnutrition is in the Greater Upper Nile and Warrap areas.

“The high rate of a cute malnutrition are attributed to severe factors including ; high level of food insecurity;  poor infant and young child feeding practices as well as high morbidity due to weak health and wash system in the country,” Maciek said.

He also stated that seasonal improvement of a cute malnutrition situation is expected during the harvest and post –harvest period due to the availability of food stock at the household level.

However, World Food Programe Country Director, Mr. Mathew Hollingsworth, said with food security, peace can be a reality.

“We have moderate improvement that is good for us to gossip in to also the knock down and continue the working together and there is more improvement. With this number in zero hunger that is unacceptable to reach and far to reach zero and we are not there yet,” Mr. Hollingsworth said.

The IPC report is a collaboration between the Government of the Republic of South Sudan, FAO, UNICEF and WFP. Find more information about the IPC classification system.

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