Juba, South Sudan, May 26, 2021 – The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) says at least $1.7 billion is needed to save more than 8 million South Sudanese from severe humanitarian catastrophe compounded by hunger.
South Sudan’s already dire food insecurity situation has been worsened by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and sub-national violence on one hand, and devastating floods in states like Jonglei on the other.
The UN humanitarian agency revealed that the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in 2021 has risen to 8.3 million, a drastic increase from the 7.2 million projection made in 2020 thanks to the 800,000 additional number.
“Across South Sudan, more than 7.2 million people – 60 percent of the population – are facing severe hunger,” part of a statement seen by Nyamilepedia reads.
“Together with humanitarian organizations, the UN needs US$1.7 billion to help 7.2 million people in South Sudan through the year,” it appealed adding that only 33 percent of the much-needed funding has been received so far.
In March this year, the World Food Programme sounded an alarm on the aforementioned figure of people in need of humanitarian aid warning that with the prevalence of floods and sub-national conflicts, the situation could further deteriorate in hard-to-reach areas.
“Approximately 7.2 million South Sudanese have been pushed into severe food insecurity due again to sporadic violence, extreme weather, and the economic impact of COVID-19,” WFP Spokesperson Tomson Phiri was quoted to have said.
Mr. Phiri added that “this figure includes over 100,000 people who are in those hard-to-reach areas of 6 counties (Akobo, Pibor, Aweil West, Tonj North, Tonj South, and Tonj East) who are at risk of famine. They are literally one step away from famine according to the Famine Review Committee report.”
Besides the coronavirus pandemic and inter-ethnic violence hindering the delivery of aid in areas hard-hit by humanitarian disaster, insecurity has heightened in those areas. Aid workers and medical personnel are getting either abducted, tortured, or even killed.