February 7, 2017 (JUBA) – At least two people have died as a result of hunger in South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria state, officials have said.
The incident, which reportedly occurred in Kapeota region, reflects the food security challenges facing the world’s youngest nation.
Kapoeta state governor, Louis Lobong, said thousands of people have fled due to food insecurity to Uganda, amidst fear some die before reaching their destinations.
"Two women died in the way to Uganda. They were fleeing hunger in the state," Lobong said on Tuesday.
He accused humanitarian organisations of neglecting the plight of the local communities who were starving.
“The pastoral communities have gone far, crossing over to either the neighboring states or the neighboring countries because they are vulnerable, hungry, and weak. We have never seen any humanitarian agency that is coming in for any help,” Lobong told Eye Radio.
He said no food deliveries or assessment by international and local organisations have been conducted by Tuesday, repeating his request for "urgent assistance."
In a related development, Tonj state’s deputy governor, Manhiem Bol said souring market commodities have spoilt the purchasing power of poor people, blaming poor harvest in 2016 farming season for the food gap.
"There is an alarming hunger situation across the state because of crops failure during the last farming season,” said Bol, calling for immediate humanitarian assistance.
"I am appealing to humanitarian organizations to also look at the issues to do with humanitarian problems in South Sudan and in Tonj in particular," he added.
The conflict that broke out in mid-December 2013 has uprooted more than two million people from their homes, forcing one million South Sudanese across borders into neighbouring nations.