FAO: Violence in South Sudan could increase hunger and food insecurityListen /
The conflict in South Sudan is threatening to unravel the modest gains the country has made in food security in the past two years, increasing hunger, malnutrition and human suffering, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO).
The organization says the humanitarian situation in South Sudan has deteriorated rapidly since mid-December, causing not only the loss of life and displacement, but also disrupting the agricultural sector which supports nearly 78 percent of South Sudan’s rural population.
FAO says the conflict is also affecting major supply routes, displacing traders and leading to rising food and fuel prices, along with the breakdown of local markets which are crucial to rural farmers, fishing and livestock dependent populations.
Even before the onset of current fighting, FAO had predicted that some 4.4 million people in South Sudan would be food insecure this year.
Under the United Nations’ Crisis Response Plan for South Sudan, FAO is appealing for $61 million to procure seeds, livestock vaccines, fishing gear and other agricultural inputs, technologies and services for vulnerable rural and urban families whose food production and income activities are being disrupted by the conflict.
FAO Representative in South Sudan Sue Lautze says the country faces major challenges in terms of livestock diseases and estimates that more than half of the country’s capacity for vaccine storage and distribution has been lost and must urgently be restored.
Patrick Maigua, United Nations, Geneva.