Millions in South Sudan require urgent food assistance as hunger in the country is likely to reach new heights.
According to the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP), up to 5.3 million people in the country may face severe food shortages during this year’s lean season.
A nutritionist in a food distribution centre has been testing women and children for malnutrition.
People are feeling the pinch of the bad weather conditions.
“This is a girl and she is two-years-old and she is also severely malnourished. The MUAC (Middle Upper Arm Circumference) is reading eleven,” said, WFP nutritionist Felista Busi.
Earlier in the year, WFP had warned that the number of people facing acute hunger would rise from a previous estimate of 2.8 million. This has largely been blamed on drought and a collapsing economy.
George Fominyen, the spokesperson of WFP said “people are feeling the pinch of the bad weather conditions, which led to failed harvest. They are feeling the pinch of the economic collapse in the country, which means that they don’t have enough money to buy food – if they found it in the market, and when they find the food in the market or anything they do need, it’s so expensive.”
Even as WFP scales up its response, the UN humanitarian plan for South Sudan has received less than a quarter of the 1.29 billion US dollars needed.