South Sudan is no longer classified as being in famine, although 45,000 people in Jonglei and Unity states are expected to remain in famine-like conditions and the situation is still very critical, a U.N.-backed food security report said on Wednesday.
An estimated 6 million people, half the population, are expected to be severely food insecure this month and next, the report said.
The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report was based on a survey by a working group including government and U.N. officials.
South Sudan famine was officially declared on February 20, 2017 by President Salva Kiir who promised to do all it takes to lift the country out of that situation.
Famine is defined to be an extreme and widespread scarcity of food. People facing this state of starvation, feel tiredness, have palpitations or cardiac arrhythmias, fainting and in the worst case, starvation leads to death.
The country’s humanitarian situation suffered a setback when fresh clashes broke out in Juba between forces of president Salva Kiir and former first vice president Riek Machar. The clashes came barely months after Machar had returned to the capital to join a unity government.
The clashes resulted in many citizens of Africa’s most youngest nation seeking refuge in UN protection sites whiles others fled their homes for fear of a return to war. Most of them are currently in neighbouring countries like Rwanda, Sudan and Ethiopia.
The UN Security council voted for a protection force of 4000 troops to augment the 12,000 strong peacekeeping mission in the country. Machar fled following the clashes and has vowed to return to the country soon.