THE UNITED NATIONS has called on a halt to conflict to avoid a “catastrophic” famine in the war-torn African state of South Sudan.
The UN warned over 6.5 million people are currently facing food insecurity in South Sudan, and that a million more could be put at risk of starvation by July.
They have called on warring groups to halt their conflict so that vital food supplies can reach parts of the vast country’s Jonglei state, where starvation is imminent due to violence, the coronavirus pandemic, and recent bouts of flooding. The UN estimates that 2000 people have died in South Sudan’s conflict this year, including 600 in this region.
“We are extremely concerned about the increased numbers of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition.” said a South Sudan representative for Unicef, “These children need urgent treatment to prevent them from dying.”
“We call on all parties to stop the violence and to ensure safe humanitarian access in order to prevent an already dire situation from turning into a full-blown catastrophe,” said Meshack Malo, of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.
Although agreements between South Sudan’s government and opposition groups technically brought an end to the country’s 7-year Civil War in February this year, localised conflicts have continued across the turbulent country. Nine humanitarian workers were killed in 2020.
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