Food gap widens in conflict-stricken South Sudan
April 5, Khartoum: Civil strife and unfavourable rains have further reduced crop production in South Sudan, contributing to a cereal deficit of 381,000 metric tons - 53 percent greater than in 2015 - and aggravating the already severe food shortages, two UN agencies warned today.
Cereal prices have shot up nearly five-fold since early last year, making it increasingly difficult for people to get enough to eat, according to a new joint Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP).
The crisis in South Sudan is marked by alarming levels of hunger. Some 5.8 million people, or nearly half of the country's population, are unsure where their next meal will come from, while the rate of severe food insecurity has now reached 12 percent, double the rate of one year ago.
“This report makes it clear that improving the food situation requires a peaceful resolution to the conflict,” said WFP Country Director Joyce Luma, noting that South Sudan is facing a “deadly blend of conflict, economic hardship and poor rains,” which together are worsening a hunger gap that might force more people to go hungry and increase malnutrition.