South Sudan Situation Report, 29 March 2019

HIGHLIGHTS

Food insecurity increases, humanitarians urge for scale-up of aid

Humanitarian access remained constrained in 2018, impacting aid to people in need

Thousands of people fled for safety after renewed fighting in Yei Armed group released 120 children in Yambio

Aid organizations expand assistance as displaced people return to central and southern Unity

ANALYSIS

Food insecurity increases, humanitarians urge for scale-up of aid Nearly 6.5 million people � 57 per cent of the population � are estimated to face severe food insecurity from February to April, with an estimated 45,000 in ‘catastrophic’ conditions, said the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) Technical Working Group in South Sudan.

This is expected to increase to an estimated 6.9 million people facing severe food insecurity at the peak of the lean season � the time when people’s food stock runs out before the next harvest � in May-June. An estimated 50,000 people will be in ‘catastrophic’ conditions, which means they will be facing a famine-like situation.

Malnutrition levels remained critical in many areas, with some 860,000 children under the age of five estimated to be severely malnourished in 2019.

The Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan, Alain Noudehou, said: “Sustained humanitarian support is required to address the immediate food assistance needs. It is also critical to support resilience activities to improve livelihoods and to increase families’ ability to cope. The number of acutely food insecure people has already increased by 13 per cent since January last year.

Humanitarian organizations said that funding and an urgent scale-up of humanitarian food assistance were needed to help vulnerable people across the country.

Around 80 per cent of people in South Sudan are farmers or pastoralists and depend on their produce or livestock for their livelihoods. But armed fighting and a lack of safety have made it hard for them to continue.

In 2019, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization aims to provide 800,000 farming, fishing and pastoral households in severely food insecure areas with vegetable and crop seeds, agricultural tools and fishing equipment. The UN’s World Food Programme, will, among other things, deliver emergency food assistance; while UNICEF, the UN’s Children Fund, is targeting more than two million children and their mothers to provide quality nutrition services in 2019.

Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs