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South Sudan Food Security Update, May 2009

Situation Report
Originally published
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- The food insecure population, estimated at 700,000 people, is mostly concentrated in the eastern and northwestern parts of southern Sudan and is comprised of returnees, the chronically food insecure, conflict-affected households, and a few refugees. The size of this population is expected to increase 10-30 percent by the peak of the hunger season in July-August, 2009. Conditions are not expected to improve until completion of main crop harvests in October.

- A small population residing in surplus crop producing areas, especially in Yambio, Ezo, and Maridi, remain food insecure due to escalating Lords Resistance Army attacks (LRA) since December 2008. LRA attacks have continued into May, and are reportedly affecting cultivation.

- The April-July cropping season, predominant in Tambura, Ezo, Yambio, Maridi, Kajokeji, Yei and Mundri (Greenbelt Zone), and Juba, Magwi and Torit (Hills-Mountain Zone), has entered its second month. The onset of rains was timely in early April but a dry spell began in May, especially in Torit, Magwi, and Juba counties.

- Optimism for an early start of the June-September/November rains and cropping season increased following the widespread onset of rains in all other zones during the last two weeks of April. Though this presented farmers in the Western/Eastern Flood Plains and the Nile-Sobat Zones a chance to plant a month earlier than normal, this is has been compromised following widespread dryness during the first three weeks of May.

- Areas to watch for worsening food security conditions are those affected by insecurity, Greenbelt (Yambio, Ezo, and Maridi), Eastern Flood Plains (Waat, Wuror and Akobo) and the northern parts the Pastoral Zone (Pibor County). These include recently insecure areas of Nasir, Luakpiny, Juba, Rumbek, and Tonj counties.