The South Sudan government and United Nations declared famine in two counties of war-torn South Sudan, AP reported on Monday. An official statement said more than 1,00,000 people in two of Unity state’s counties are facing famine and it would eventually affect around 1 million more in the country. Civil war and an economic crisis under President Salva Kiir’s regime have been declared as reasons for the calamity.
South Sudan’s National Bureau of Statistics Chairperson, Isaiah Chol Aruai, said the effects of war along with high food rates, economic disruption and low agricultural production was expected to make 49 lakh people “food insecure” between February and April. The numbers are likely to go up to 55 lakh by July, Reuters reported. Famine warnings have been declared for Yemen, Somalia and north-eastern Nigeria, BBC reported.
“This famine is man-made. There is only so much that humanitarian assistance can achieve in the absence of meaningful peace and security,” Joyce Luma, chief of the World Food Program in South Sudan told AP. UN officials said the country’s condition is shocking considering it has plenty of fertile land.
The civil war in the country has prevented farmers from harvesting their crops and hyper inflation touched 800% in 2016 making food imports unaffordable, Reuters reported.
Violence in the country has displaced around 30 lakh people with the United Nations predicting more displacements, which will pave the way for “heightened risks of prolonged [food] underproduction into 2018”.