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South Sudan: Almost every second South Sudanese in need of food assistance

While humanitarian needs are exploding, aid flow drastically decreased and 1 million people risk starvation

(Juba, South Sudan) A reported 5.3 million people in South Sudan are in urgent need of food assistance, warns the international aid organization CARE.

According to today’s released Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis 48 per cent of the population are in urgent need of food aid. The report further warns that about one million people are in imminent danger of starvation if they do not receive food assistance immediately.

Up to 7.1 million people might not have enough to eat from May to July, a record high in the number of food insecurity the country has ever faced.

“What we’re witnessing is beyond human imagination. We’ve seen the hunger in South Sudan get worse every year, and every year agencies like CARE do their best to respond,” says CARE Country Director Rosalind Crowther. “But the needs keep growing and we’re seeing more hunger in more places. We’re especially seeing a significant increase in malnutrition among children in communities where CARE is working.”

“Women and girls are being forced to take the most drastic measures in order to survive,” adds Crowther.

CARE is supporting the affected women and girls, with information where they can go for legal and counselling assistance. We have also set up facilities where the women get medical and psychosocial support.”

The use of rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war by parties to the conflict has created untold trauma among the South Sudanese population. Many of those seeking refuge are women and girls, often targets of further gender violence as they make their arduous journeys.

Since last year, the country has witnessed escalating conflict, which has forced many South Sudanese to flee their homes. The situation remains serious such that many farmers have abandoned their fields due to insecurity. It is projected that South Sudan will have a 482 000 metric tonnes deficit of estimated cereal needs in 2018.

So far, CARE has distributed food assistance to more than half a million people in Unity, Jonglei, Upper Nile and Eastern Equatorialstates in the past twelve months. But it remains a drop in a relentlessly expanding ocean.

“Our resources are stretched,” continues Crowther. “There’s an urgent need for donors and the humanitarian community to step up our assistance so we can reach more people. If we don’t, the repercussions could be catastrophic.”

Since the conflict began in December 2013, more than 4 million South Sudanese have fled their homes. Nearly 90 per cent of the forcibly displaced are women and children and nearly 65 per cent are under 18. Over 2 million have sought refuge in neighboring countries but more than 1.9 million remain in South Sudan, living in host communities or Protection of Civilian (PoCs) sites.

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CARE has a Canadian spokesperson currently in South Sudan. To arrange an interview, contact:

Darcy Knoll
Communications Specialist | CARE Canada
darcy.knoll@care.ca | 613-228-5641