Millions in South Sudan in need of food

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South Sudanese farmers ploughing the land

More than 4 million people in South Sudan are likely to be food insecure this year, according to a new joint report by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP).

The report says food production increased by over 35 percent between 2011 and 2012 due to good rains, improved cultivation practices and expanded area under cultivation. But it says while that is an improvement over last year's food security figures, thanks in part to a decent cereal harvest, it still means that nearly 40 percent of the country's population will have trouble getting enough to eat at some point during the year. This includes more than a million people who are expected to be severely food insecure.

WFP Country Director Chris Nikoi says "We must redouble efforts to improve the livelihoods of the poorest and most vulnerable South Sudanese, and ensure they can produce their own food or can afford to buy food to meet their needs, and are more resilient to shocks." 

WFP's food assistance programmes in 2013 will focus on supporting some 2.8 million of the country's most vulnerable and food-insecure people, including specialized nutritional support for new mothers and children under the age of five.

And, FAO is implementing a broad portfolio of agricultural relief and rehabilitation projects as well as longer-term capacity- building projects in South Sudan.

FAO is also providing livelihood recovery support to IDPs, returnees and vulnerable resident households to increase agricultural production and productivity to improve food and nutrition security, promote peacebuilding, accelerate recovery and lay the foundations for recovery.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’32″

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