The ongoing conflict in Yei region has compounded the already worsening food insecurity in South Sudan, the World Food Programme (WFP) warned on Thursday.
Simon Cammelbeeck, WFP acting country director in South Sudan, told journalists that the ongoing fighting in the country’s bread basket region of Yei has already displaced hundreds of people from their farms as the crucial planting season approaches.
“The situation in Yei is still very fragile that people have been chased away basically from their villages and are now internally displaced persons (IDPs) within Yei,” he said in Juba.
Cammelbeeck disclosed that this will definitely worsen food insecurity as the planting season approaches a few months ahead. “If they miss that planting season they (Yei) will be depending on humanitarian assistance,” he added.
Cammelbeeck said that the food security situation since last year has not improved despite the recently signed revitalized peace agreement by the warring parties in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
The government is battling rebels of the National Salvation Front (NAS) under Thomas Cirilo Swaka.
Cammelbeeck revealed that Terekeka State located in the Central Equatoria region which was spared from the conflict since outbreak in December 2013 is now one of the areas facing hunger, despite being famous for its fishing activities and farmlands.
“We are still very much in the middle of a humanitarian crisis and again Terekeka is one of the counties affected. We hope that in May, the unity government will be established and that we have stability which is so much needed for the people to start rebuilding their livelihoods,” said Cammelbeeck.
A report released in February revealed that the number of food insecure people in South Sudan grew from 6.1 million in 2018 to 6.8 million as of January.
The report warned that out of the nearly 7 million food insecure people, 30,000 people are staring at famine in Jonglei and Lakes states, in the eastern and central parts of the world’s youngest republic. Enditem