Despite some recent political progress in South Sudan, a deteriorating food and nutrition situation, economic decline and sporadic violence are continuing to significantly impact the humanitarian needs within the country, the United Nations food relief agency cautioned today.
In an update on the regional impact of the crisis in South Sudan, the World Food Programme (WFP) highlighted that reports indicate that attacks by armed groups in Raja town on 15 June resulted in death, destruction of property and displacements. In addition, clashes between Government forces and an armed group were reported in Leer town, Unity state.
“The deteriorating economic conditions, coupled with rising prices of essential commodities, is contributing to rising criminality in most parts of the country,” WFP said in the update.
In Sudan and Uganda, the rate of new arrivals has slowed compared with previous months, according to the update. WFP noted that it remains to be seen whether the numbers will increase given the deteriorating food security conditions in South Sudan.
In that regard, WFP indicated that food insecurity remains a key concern throughout the country.
“The economic decline and high inflation combined with disrupted harvests and livelihoods continue to worsen the food security situation,” the agency said, noting that Eastern Equatoria, Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Western Bahr el Ghazal are exhibiting the most rapid decline in that regard.
WFP said it is scaling up its efforts to reach food insecure households through the lean season to prevent a further decline in the food security and nutritional status of the population. General food distributions are ongoing alongside food assistance for assets programmes in Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Eastern Equatoria.
The agency said it requires $74 million for the next six months to meet the needs of all refugees in Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda. Food stocks are stretched and immediate funds are required in particular for Sudan and Uganda.
In addition to providing food assistance inside South Sudan, WFP provides food assistance for refugees at border crossings, during transit, at reception centres and upon settlement in the camps. Nutrition interventions are ongoing to treat and prevent malnutrition for children younger than 5 years old, as well as pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers.