May 22, 2022

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South Sudan is preparing for the worst hunger crisis in its history

As global attention focuses on Ukraine, a “hidden food emergency” is sweeping across South Sudan as an estimated 8.3 million people – including refugees – face severe hunger in the coming months, according to the website. World Food Program In a press release.

When “lean season” reaches its peak, food is scarce and supplies run out.

The tens of thousands of South Sudanese who are already suffering from extreme hunger as a result of the successive shocks and who could starve to death without food assistance are particularly at risk.

The World Food Program said South Sudan is part of a “ring of fire” around the world as climate shocks, conflict, COVID-19 and rising costs push millions closer to starvation.

The impact of the climate crisis and ongoing conflict has led to widespread displacement, loss of livelihoods, destruction of arable land and crops, as well as soaring food prices, threatening the survival of communities living in some of the most isolated areas of Jonglei, Lakes, Unity and Warrap states.

The breadth and depth of this crisis is alarming. “We are seeing people across the country have exhausted all of their options to make ends meet, and now they have none,” said Adinka Badejo, Deputy Country Director of the World Food Program in South Sudan.

Assistance provided by the World Food Program

While providing basic food and nutrition assistance to meet the immediate needs of the population at risk, WFP simultaneously implements resilience building activities to help these communities cope with sudden shocks without losing all of their productive assets.

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Ms. Badejo added: “Given the scale of this crisis, our resources only allow us to reach a portion of the most disadvantaged people with minimal survival, which is far from enough to allow societies to get back on their feet.” WFP is working The world is working tirelessly not only to meet these urgent needs, but also to help societies regain their resilience and better prepare to deal with new shocks.”

In 2021, the World Food Program provided food and nutrition assistance to 5.9 million people, including more than 730,000 people in South Sudan who benefited from livelihood activities.

In Grand Jonglei and Unity states, where unprecedented flooding and local conflict prevented people from reaching their cultivated fields, the World Food Program helped people with cash assistance to purchase food and other basic needs, provided communities with tools to protect and preserve basic assets, and trained youth in food-related programmes, Including post-harvest management.

Investing in flexibility

To help communities prepare for the impact of the floods, WFP has built dams in vulnerable areas such as Bor in Jonglei State, where the construction of an 18-kilometre barrier has enabled thousands of displaced families to return home.

The World Food Program has also begun restoring a submerged main road following the devastating floods that hit Bentiu in Unity State, where many people are still displaced.

In areas not affected by the floods, the World Food Program worked with community members to clear and cultivate more than 40,000 acres of land to grow food, enabling smallholder farmers to be self-sufficient year-round.

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“Investing in resilience is an important step in helping communities lift themselves out of poverty and hunger. As we stand with them to address their most pressing challenges, we must also work closely with the government and other development partners to seek long-term solutions to some of the chronic problems facing South Sudan. The South – Addressing inequality and isolation and restoring “conditions of peace and stability,” Ms. Bago said.