South Sudan Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 03 | 23 March 2018
• Humanitarian Coordinator calls for urgent action to avert worsening food crisis in South Sudan.
• Almost two-thirds of the South Sudan population at risk of rising hunger.
• South Sudan declares a Rift Valley fever outbreak in the counties of Awerial, Yirol East and Yirol West, in Lakes.
• A new outbreak of measles has been confirmed in Aweil East County, Northern Bahr el Ghazal.
• Women most affected by South Sudan conflict.
Humanitarian Coordinator calls for urgent action to avert worsening food crisis in South Sudan
The Humanitarian Coordinator, Alain Noudehou, led a high-level delegation of donors, heads of humanitarian agencies and partners to Leer in Unity on 7 March to see firsthand the plight of the 90,000 people living in the area. The delegation also met with the Governor of Leer, community leaders and aid agencies who are currently assisting tens of thousands of people across the region.
"Due to seasonal time pressure, we need funding now to reach millions of people with multisectoral assistance during the dry season, through road transport and prepositioning life-saving aid supplies. These same activities will be many times more costly if done by air transport during the rainy season,” said Mr. Noudehou. The Humanitarian Coordinator noted his concern regarding the potential effects of taxes and fees on humanitarian organizations and staff, which not only take much needed-resources from front line operations, but are often unpredictable and disruptive to the humanitarian response.
“Once again, I strongly urge all parties to the conflict to stop the fighting and to ensure that humanitarian agencies are given free, safe and unhindered access to all areas of South Sudan,” said Mr. Noudehou. Leer was one of two counties affected by famine in 2017. Although the famine was stopped, the situation remains fragile, with about 85 per cent of the population predicted to reach crisis and emergency food insecurity conditions (IPC Phases 3 and 4) by the end of April 2018.
Almost two-thirds of the South Sudan population at risk of rising hunger
More than 7 million people in South Sudan—almost two-thirds of the population—could become severely food insecure in the coming months without sustained humanitarian assistance and access, three United Nations agencies warned on 26 February.
If this happens, it will be the highest ever number of food insecure people in South Sudan. The period of greatest concern will be the lean season, between May and July. Particularly at risk are 155,000 people, including 29,000 children, who could reach the most extreme levels of hunger if assistance is not provided and sustained.
Improved access and a concerted humanitarian response succeeded in halting famine last year. Despite this, the scale and scope of food insecurity are reaching new highs, while crop production is compromised.
FAO, UNICEF and WFP warn that progress made could be undone, and more people than ever could be pushed into severe hunger conditions during May-July, unless assistance and access are maintained. Close monitoring of the situation, particularly in counties most at risk, will remain critical
"The situation is extremely fragile, and we are close to seeing another famine. The projections are stark. If we ignore them, we will be faced with a growing tragedy. If farmers receive support to resume their livelihoods, we will see a rapid improvement in the country's food security situation due to increased local production," said Serge Tissot,
FAO Representative in South Sudan.