Three agencies of the United Nations are warning that extreme hunger is pushing people to the brink of a catastrophe in parts of South Sudan, as a new analysis found that 3.9 million people nationwide now face severe food insecurity.
There are 30,000 in dire straits., starving to death.
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN’s Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) called on the parties to the conflict to grant urgent and unrestricted access to Unity State, where a newly released Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis shows that at least 30,000 people are living in extreme conditions and are facing starvation and death.
Since the war in South Sudan started nearly two years ago, it is the first time that an IPC analysis has found any parts of the population in phase five (“catastrophe”) on the five-point IPC scale.
Joyce Luma, the World Food Programme person on site in South Sudan, says “these people don’t have adequate nutrition, they don’t have adequate access to food.
“In most cases when they are fleeing and when they have moved to locations which they call safe haven, the only thing that they can rely on are the roots from the swamps, and so they have very limited amount of food and what we are seeing now are famine-like conditions in those locations where humanitarian assistance, where agencies like us, WFP, have not been able to go.”