Tue. Jan 26th, 2021

South Sudan among countries at risk of famine: UN Chief

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United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that
there is a risk of famine and widespread food insecurity in four
countries affected by conflict including South Sudan, Congo, northeast
Nigeria, and Yemen endangering the lives of millions of people.

The Associated Press reported last Friday, that the UN chief in a note
to the Security Council members said the four countries rank “among
the largest food crises in the world,” according to the 2020 Global
Report on Food Crises and recent food security analyses.

“Action is needed now. Having endured years of armed conflict and
related violence, the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo,
Yemen, northeast Nigeria, and South Sudan are again facing the specter
of heightened food insecurity and potentially famine,” Guterres said
adding that funding is low.

The U.N. chief said there are key indicators in several other
conflict-hit countries including Somalia, Burkina Faso, and
Afghanistan.

Guterres said food insecurity in conflict-affected countries “is now
further exacerbated by natural disasters, economic shocks, and public
health crises, all compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

He said core humanitarian programs may have to be reduced or suspended
with reduced funding.

In South Sudan’s Jonglei and Greater Pibor administrative area,
Guterres said the situation deteriorated rapidly in the first half of
2020, “fueled by escalating violence and insecurity.”

According to the UN Chief, fighting has been accompanied by widespread
attacks on agricultural and pastoral land and the looting of livestock
and food, leaving more than 1.4 million people in the area facing
acute food insecurity, and at least 350,000 children suffer from
severe or moderate acute malnutrition.

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