March 9, 2018 (JUBA) – UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan Alain Noudéhou has urged action to avert deterioration of food crisis in the young country which has been ravaged by more than four years of war.
The top relief coordinator made the appeal on Friday during a visit of a high-level delegation of donors, heads of humanitarian agencies and partners to Leer in the Unity region, South Sudan to see firsthand the plight of the 90,000 people living in the area.
The delegation met with the Governor of Leer, community leaders and aid agencies assisting tens of thousands of people across the region.
Leer was one of two counties affected by famine in 2017. Although the famine was stopped due to intensive humanitarian intervention, the situation remains fragile with about 85% of the population predicted to reach a crisis and emergency food insecurity conditions (IPC Phases 3 and 4) by the end of next April.
“Due to seasonal time pressure, we need early funding now to reach millions of people with multi-sectoral assistance during the dry season through road transport and prepositioning of life-saving aid supplies. These same activities will be many times more costly if done by air transport during the rainy season,” said Alain Noudehou.
A recent report analyzing food security in the conflict-affected country projected that more than seven million people – almost two-thirds of the population of South Sudan – could become severely food insecure between May and July without sustained humanitarian assistance and access. With the conflict in South Sudan now in its fifth year, civilians across the country are continuing to suffer from hunger, disease and displacement.
Nearly 4.3 million people – one in three South Sudanese – have been displaced, including more than 1.8 million who are internally displaced and about 2.5 million who are in neighbouring countries.
“Once again, I strongly urge all parties to the conflict to stop the fighting and to ensure that humanitarian agencies are given free, safe and unhindered access to all areas of South Sudan and for all bureaucratic impediments to be removed,” said Alain Noudehou.