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S. Sudan’s NGO forum urges more funding to avert crisis

March 17, 2018 (JUBA) - The forum for non-governmental entities (NGOs) in South Sudan has appealed for more funding from donor countries to help avert a looming humanitarian crisis in the war-torn nation.

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

“NGOs are appealing to donors to continue to assist those most affected by the crisis in South Sudan in 2018 including vulnerable women, children and elderly people. Please support our effort to save lives and alleviate human suffering in the world’s youngest nation”, partly reads statement the forum issued.

The humanitarian crisis has continued to deepen and spread across South Sudan, with at least 7 people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, aid agencies say.

The conflict in South Sudan, now in its fifth year, has triggered the displacement of 4 million people internally and across the country’s borders with neighbouring nations.

"The economic crisis is driving high rates of food insecurity and malnutrition, with 48% of the population now estimated to be in crisis or worse levels of food security,” the NGO forum said in the statement.

In 2017, after the declaration of famine in southern Unity state, a large-scale humanitarian response helped to prevent its spread and mitigate worsening food insecurity for populations at particular risk.

However, the rates of food insecurity have remained high and the long-term impact of conflict and an economic crisis are engulfing previously productive regions.

A staggering 1.1 million children under the age of 5 are reported to be acutely malnourished and in need of life-saving services.

“In the absence of humanitarian assistance, during the lean season months of May-July 2018, an estimated 7.1 million (63% of the population) will face severe food insecurity, out of which 155,000 would be in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) and 2.3 million in Emergency (IPC Phase 4)”, further stressed the statement.

The group has warned that the current drivers of food insecurity to persist and worsen through the end of 2018, there is a heightened risk of famine in areas where large populations are already experiencing severe food insecurity.

They urged all parties to the conflict to bring an end to the fighting and support the peace talks.

NGO forum in South Sudan consists of over 300 members that include both local and international organizations.

(ST)