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E. Equatoria state faces looming hunger crisis, says governor

January 29, 2013 (JUBA) - The governor of South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria state, Louis Lobong Lojore, has appealed to the national government to intervene and avert the looming hunger crisis in his state.

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Governor Louis Lobong (L) briefing vice-president Riek Machar on the looming hunger crisis in Eastern Equatoria state, January 29, 2013 (ST)

In a statement issued to the press on Tuesday while on a visit to the national capital, Juba, the governor also called on business people in other states where there is food surplus to trade with Eastern Equatoria state by transporting and marketing food items to the affected population.

Lobong, who met vice-president Riek Machar on Tuesday also appealed to the country’s leadership to help the state find ways to avail food in the markets to the populations hardest hit by hunger.

In particular, the governor cited counties occupied by the Toposa people as the area worst affected by the crisis and with the least access to food commodities.

South Sudan largely depends on imported food commodities from neighbouring countries, despite its huge potential in agriculture.

Most of the country’s land is arable but only 4% of it is cultivated, according to official information from the ministry of agriculture and forestry.

Last year, the United Nations food security assessment showed at least 4.7 million South Sudanese remained food insecure, with nearly one million of them said to have been severely affected.