S. Sudan violence to increase hunger, food insecurity

Updated: 2014-01-14 10:26


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ROME -- Violence in South Sudan is threatening to increase hunger and human suffering and cause food insecurity in the African country, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Monday.

According to the Rome-based UN food agency, FAO and its partners are seeking $61 million  for crucial food assistance and livelihoods activities in South Sudan.

"FAO's efforts are focused on getting seeds, livestock vaccines, fishing gear and other agricultural inputs, technologies and services to vulnerable rural and urban families whose food production and income activities are being disrupted by conflict and the displacement of people," the agency said.

The humanitarian situation in South Sudan has deteriorated rapidly since fighting broke out in mid-December, causing not only the loss of life and displacement, but also disrupting agricultural development and humanitarian activities crucial to the survival and future livelihoods of millions, it said.

"The impacts on diversified livelihoods in four of South Sudan's 10 states are generating an alarming risk of food insecurity and malnutrition," FAO warned.

"Timing is everything; there are fish in the rivers now, pastoralists are trying to protect their herds and the planting season for maize, groundnut and sorghum starts in March," said Sue Lautze, FAO Representative in South Sudan, the agency's newest member country.

"Even before the recent fighting, which has displaced more than 352, 000 people, some 4.4 million people were already estimated to be facing food insecurity in South Sudan in 2014. Of those, 830,000 were facing acute food insecurity," said Dominique Burgeon, director of FAO's Emergency and Rehabilitation Division.