An estimated 47 percent of the population of South Sudan is suffering from acute food insecurity immediately after the harvest period, a situation driven by conflict-related livelihood disruptions, climatic shocks, displacement and the economic crisis. According to the results of the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis, an estimated 5.5 million people are projected to face severe acute food insecurity between January and April 2020. Of these, 4.3 million are estimated to be in Crisis (IPC phase 3), the highest number ever after the harvest period.
The situation was projected to deteriorate as the country heads into the lean season and households start to deplete food stocks. The potential arrival of the Desert Locust, which is currently ravaging the Horn of Africa in the worst infestation in 25 years, could further threaten the food security of the country. South Sudan has not seen an invasion of the pest since 1961 and has no collective means to address one.
Nonetheless, compared to the February-April period of 2018, the number of severely food-insecure people (IPC Phase 3 or above) has reduced by almost 15 percent, largely attributed to the improved security situation following the September 2018 signing of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan.
FAO has received less than half � USD 32.4 million of USD 75 million � needed for its Emergency Livelihood Response Programme (ELRP). This means far fewer people in urgent need of assistance can be reached than planned, potentially threatening the situation particularly in areas likely to receive returnees, where access is difficult, or where harvests are predicted to be poor.
Saving lives by saving livelihoods: FAO’s seed campaign alone in 2019 enabled 594 194 households to produce enough food to last for 6.5 months and represented one-third of total cereal production in the country. In 2020, FAO plans to reach 775 000 households through livelihood support (crop seeds, vegetable and fishing kits).
Significant flooding occurred across the country, resulting in about 73 000 tonnes of cereal production loss as well as increased reports of sick and dying livestock. In response, FAO and partners launched an emergency recovery intervention and livestock vaccination campaign across the country, with FAO having so far received USD 2.2 million in funding for flood-affected areas.
FAO recently completed the construction of a Central Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory under the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries in Juba. The laboratory will help facilitate evidence-based livestock epidemio-surveillance and timely response to diseases.
Source: Food and Agricultural Organizations of the United Nations