By Adia Jildo
More than seventy percent of the South Sudanese population will struggle to survive the peak of the lean season this year as the country grapples with unprecedented levels of food insecurity caused by conflict, climate shocks, the UN’s World Food Program has warned.
In a statement on Friday WFP warned of a fresh hunger crisis threatening millions of South Sudanese already maltreated by floods and a resurgence of conflict.
“While global attention remains fixated on Ukraine, a hidden hunger emergency is engulfing South Sudan with about 8.3 million people in South Sudan – including refugees – set to face extreme hunger in the coming months as the 2022 lean season peaks, food becomes scarce and provisions are depleted,” WFP said.
It added that the impact of the climate crisis and ongoing conflict have led to large scale displacement, livelihoods losses, the destruction of arable land and crops as well as rising food prices — threatening the survival of communities living in some of the most isolated areas in the States of Jonglei, Lakes, Unity and Warrap.
“The extent and depth of this crisis is unsettling. We’re seeing people across the country have exhausted all their available options to make ends meet and now they are left with nothing,” said Adeyinka Badejo, Deputy Country Director of the World Food Programme in South Sudan.
The World Food Program is likely to fall short of its response budget of about $526 million dollars to help in the development projects in the country.
“Given the magnitude of this crisis, our resources only allow us to reach only some of those most in need with the bare minimum to survive, which is not nearly enough to allow communities to get back on their feet. WFP is working tirelessly not only to cater for these immediate needs, but also to support communities to restore their own resilience and be better prepared to face new shocks,” said Badejo.
Badejo called on the government to look for alternatives to help communities to fight poverty and hunger by seeking long term solutions to address the challenges faced by the country.