South Sudan is close to another famine, aid officials said on Monday, after more than four years of civil war and a number of failed ceasefires in the country.
Almost two-thirds of the population will need food aid this year to stave off starvation and malnutrition as aid groups prepare for the “toughest year on record”, members of a working group including South Sudanese and UN officials, said.
“The situation is extremely fragile, and we are close to seeing another famine,” Serge Tissot of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in South Sudan said.
“The projections are stark,” he added.
“If we ignore them, we’ll be faced with a growing tragedy.”
A total of 5.3 million people – 48 percent of the population – are already in a “crisis” or “emergency” situation, according to a survey published by the working group.
“We are expecting to face the toughest year on record,” UN Humanitarian Coordinator Alain Noudehou told reporters in the South Sudanese capital Juba.