Hunger Data Experts Confirm Risk of Famine in South Sudan
Best solution to avert famine is for all parties to lay down their weapons immediately, says CARE
An updated report from the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), the key tool for monitoring the status of the food crisis in South Sudan, shows there is still time to prevent a famine in the conflict-ravaged country. The single most important factor to prevent famine would be for all parties to lay down their weapons and commit to an inclusive peace process immediately, says CARE.
“The areas of South Sudan at the greatest risk for developing famine are on the frontlines of the conflict, where aid agencies cannot reach people in need due to insecurity,” said Justus Liku, Senior Food Security Advisor at CARE, and former facilitator for the IPC. ”The latest IPC report confirms these areas are currently experiencing emergency levels of hunger with high risk of sliding into famine. But famine has not yet been declared, so there is still time to prevent this from becoming a humanitarian catastrophe.”
The IPC, which uses a scale of five acute phases to measure food insecurity, with Phase 5 being ‘famine’, issued their last analysis in May, with projections that by August, conflict areas in parts of South Sudan would be in a Phase 4 emergency food crisis, with high risk of famine developing.
The latest report confirms that nearly four million people are facing crisis or emergency levels of hunger, with high levels of malnutrition, death and the collapse of livelihoods.
“This crisis is not a hopeless situation. In some areas of the country where humanitarian agencies like CARE have access to provide assistance to the affected populations, we are actually starting to see slight improvements,” said Aimee Ansari, CARE’s Country Director for South Sudan. “However, there are many people that remain largely cut off from humanitarian assistance. Women are risking their lives against armed men to walk eight hours to get access to food for themselves and their children.”
Ansari adds that an end to the conflict was critical to preventing massive loss of life due to hunger and starvation in South Sudan.
“There is now a desperate need for peace to put a stop to these needless deaths, but there must be the political will to make it so. Time is quickly running out, and CARE is calling on the international community to take immediate action; to not only respond to the appeals for support from humanitarian organizations to meet the urgent needs, but also for a strong political response that allows access for delivery of life-saving humanitarian assistance,” said Ansari.
CARE has been delivering much-needed aid to over 200,000 people across South Sudan’s three hardest-hit States of Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei since the outbreak of conflict in December last year. CARE is providing emergency water, sanitation, hygiene services and education, in addition to nutrition and livelihoods assistance. CARE also supports over 40 health facilities in Unity and Upper Nile States, two of the states most heavily affected by fighting.
CARE has been operating in South Sudan since 1993, initially providing humanitarian relief to internally displaced people in Western Equatoria. The signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005 allowed CARE to expand into Jonglei and Upper Nile States to support returnees from the refugee camps, and the organization has since broadened its operations to include development programs.About CARE:
Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE has more than six decades of experience helping people prepare for disasters, providing lifesaving assistance when a crisis hits, and helping communities recover after the emergency has passed. CARE places special focus on women and children, who are often disproportionately affected by disasters. To learn more, visit care.org.
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