Conflict and weather worsen food shortages in South Sudan

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An internally displaced woman seeking refuge from the ongoing violence in the swamps of Unity state, cooks her last supply of sorghum. Photo: FAO South Sudan

The ongoing conflict in South Sudan has combined with unfavourable rains to reduce cereal crop production, according to a joint report from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Program (WFP).

The world's youngest nation gained independence in 2011 but a bloody civil war has forced two million people from their homes, with 200,000 based in UN protection sites.

The FAO and the WFP are joining with partners to try to increase food security in the African state.

Janie Cangelosi has the story.

According to the FAO and WFP, South Sudan is facing even greater food shortages in 2016 than it did last year.

381,000 extra tonnes of cereals are needed, which is up more than 50% on 2015's shortfall.

Fighting has spread to areas that were previously secure, disrupting cropping activities and making transportation more dangerous.

This along with poor rains has caused cereal prices to skyrocket with, 5.8 million people, or around half the country's population, unsure where their next meal will come from.

With over 90% of its land capable of sustaining crops, South Sudan has the natural resources to provide for its population.

The report from the FAO and WFP makes a number of recommendations for addressing hunger in South Sudan.

Chief among these is immediate improvement to security across the country.

Janie Cangelosi, United Nations.

Duration: 47″

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