After three years of war, the South Sudanese government and humanitarian agencies officially have declared famine in parts of the country.
More than 100,000 people are starving in the country, according to the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan. While in some areas, particularly north of the country, more than 30 percent of the population there is suffering from acute malnutrition.
The Integrated Food Security Report estimated that nearly five million South Sudanese in total are facing dire hunger.
Unless more humanitarian aid is provided, some 275,000 children are at risk of starving to death, U.N. humanitarian agencies said.
“Famine has become a tragic reality in parts of South Sudan and our worst fears have been realized. Many families have exhausted every means they have to survive,” said Serge Tissot, the Food and Agriculture Organization’s representative for South Sudan.
He said the people affected “are predominantly farmers and war has disrupted agriculture. They’ve lost their livestock, even their farming tools. For months there has been a total reliance on whatever plants they can find and fish they can catch.”
South Sudan’s famine is directly caused by civil war. In 2011, South Sudan won independence from Sudan, but just a year and half later, civil war broke out because of distrust.
In turn, food prices have jumped up to 800 percent and trade routes have been blocked off.
“It is of paramount importance that assistance not only continues in 2017, but scales up in the face of mounting food insecurity across the country,” the Integrated Food Security report says.
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Publication date: February 21, 2017