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WFP calls for urgent food distribution in South Sudan

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January 16, 2017 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s food security situation will worsen this year unless food is procured and distributed to millions of people in urgent need in inaccessible areas of the country before the rainy season start, the World Food Program (WFP) said Tuesday.

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People in conflict-affected areas of South Sudan collect food from WFP (WFP/eter Testuzza Photo)

"The food security situation is not good and the indication we get is that the harvest last year (2017) was less than the year before," said WFP Deputy Country Director Simon Cammelbeek.

South Sudan has been hit by violent conflict since December 2013. The civil war has since displaced more than two million people.

Last year, the Integrated Food Security Classification (IPC) report project that earlier-than-normal start of the lean season will result in an estimated 5.1 million people (48 percent of the total population) being classified as severely food insecure in January-March 2018.

"It’s very important that we also take this opportunity in the current month to procure food and distribute food to those areas which will not be reachable during the rainy season. So as much as we have to wait for the final (IPC) assessment the indications are clear it (food situation) is worse than last year," said Cammelbeek

The official further said although donors have been supportive of WFP and other partners’ efforts, more resources are urgently required to help mount an effective and timely response to tackle hunger.

"Whereas famine conditions were averted in 2017 thanks in part to the extensive and large scale response by WFP and partners, some 6 million people are unable to meet their daily food needs already in January this year,” stressed the WFP country director.

We must do everything in our power and work jointly to ensure food and nutritional assistance for all," he added.

In December last year, the United Nations and the humanitarian community in South Sudan launched a $1.72 billion appeal to assist six million people affected by conflict, displacement and hunger in the young nation.

(ST)

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