Almost two-thirds of South Sudan’s population – 7.1 million people – risk not having enough food to eat in the coming months if they do not receive humanitarian assistance.
The grim prediction, made a year after famine was last declared in South Sudan, comes from the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis, which determines the severity of global food emergencies.
About 1 million people are in imminent danger of starvation, the report warns, if they do not receive food assistance immediately. This figure could increase to 2.3 million at risk of starvation if aid does not reach people in need by May.
“What we’re witnessing is beyond human imagination,” said Rosalind Crowther, Director of CARE in South Sudan.
“Agencies like CARE do their best to respond but the needs keep growing and we’re seeing more hunger in more places, especially among children.”
CARE has distributed more than $US13 million worth of food assistance to more than half a million people in the past year, but Ms Crowther said much more was needed.
“Our resources are stretched. There’s an urgent need for donors and the humanitarian community to step up our assistance so we can reach more people. If we don’t, the repercussions could be catastrophic.”
Since conflict in South Sudan began in December 2013, more than 4 million South Sudanese have fled their homes.
Nearly 90 per cent of the forcibly displaced are women and children and nearly 65 per cent are under 18. More than 2 million have sought refuge in neighbouring countries but more than 1.9 million remain in South Sudan, living in host communities or Protection of Civilian (PoCs) sites.
CARE Australia is an international humanitarian aid organisation. Last year, CARE directly reached more than 14 million people through humanitarian response work. Donate to our Global Emergency Fund.