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Friday, 01 August 2014

FAO: Food security is deteriorating in South Sudan

FAO is delivering emergency livelihood support at a pace 10 times faster than last year. The Organization has delivered, spent or committed all of the funds it has received, and resources have now run out. FAO urgently needs an additional $66 million in order to further expand its support to help the South Sudanese help themselves through the crisis.

“An additional 2 million people, or 345 000 vulnerable households, can be supported if we receive additional funding,” said Jeff Tschirley of FAO’s Emergency and Rehabilitation Division.

“We must not wait for the current very critical situation to deepen or for a famine to be declared because by then we know that it will be too late for many. We need to act today to save lives and livelihoods.”

The FAO Representative in South Sudan and the UN’s Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator in the country, Sue Lautze, underlined the importance of the emergency livelihood kits for the country, where up to 95 percent of the population depends on farming, fishing or herding to meet their food and income needs.

“The distribution of the kits provides the means for fishers to fish, farmers to plant and pastoralists to keep their herds healthy, which in turn puts milk, vegetables, meat and fish on the table, and that’s been keeping a lot of people alive right now,” she said.

In May, some 3.5 million people – almost one in three South Sudanese – were facing crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity, and the number is expected to increase to 3.9 million (34% of the total population)  during June through August 2014.

More than 1.5 million people have fled their homes since conflict broke out in the country in mid-December and the situation has been further exacerbated by the onset of the rainy season in June. Meanwhile, violent clashes continue to be reported in some areas despite the signing of a cessation of hostilities agreement in May.

“The best means to prevent famine in South Sudan is for the guns to fall silent,” said Lautze. “Continued violence is the single most important factor in transforming a risk of famine into a reality.”

Source: eupolitics.einnews.com