By Tereza Jeremiah Chuei
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management Peter Mayen Majongdit yesterday called on the people of South Sudan to stop communal conflict and instead focus on agriculture to increase food protection to mitigate the looming hunger.
Minister Majongdit said that communal conflict is the current obstacle to farmers hindering them from cultivation.
He said tribal conflict is also the reason that prevents farmers to move freely, from rural areas to urban cities to sell their farm produce.
Mayen noted that the 8.9 million people in the country are food insecure; moreover 4.6 million of the population are children.
He emphasized that shunning from communal conflict can let to a lot of advantage at this particular time that the world is putting in some strategies on how to be food secure.
Speaking to the Media, Mayen said that government and its partners like World Food program (WFP), Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) South Sudan have come up with comprehensive strategic plans that will be used to bring down the food insecurity issue in the country.
“I am appealing to our neighbouring countries to open up their food supplies, so that the traders can be able to supply food commodities to the country so that South Sudan can mitigate food insecurity,” the minister said.
Mayen noted that South Sudan cannot live without its partners like the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO).
However, Mayen stated that the country depends on imported goods from the Sudan, Kenya, and Uganda among other neighbouring countries.
He said some of these countries have reduced on their exports and goods’ supply as a way to reserve them, which has led to increase in the prices of goods in the market within the country.
Meanwhile, the WFP representative Wilson Kaikai said that they have been monitoring the food commodities in the market, and they have noticed a significant increase in prices.
WFP country representative stated that hike in market prices has led to most of the household unable to meet their needs.
He said, this has increased the number of people in need, while for us we are currently facing funding challenge.
Whereas, FOA representative Alemu Asfaw said that express their commitment to work with the Ministry and other partners, saying that food insecurity needs a collective work.
“My advice is that it would be good if the Ministry plans for strategic food reserves, so that when there is food shortage, then this plan will help in managing this,” he said.