"Hunger and malnutrition are on the rise in areas of South Sudan affected by floods, drought and conflict, and some communities are at risk of starvation if humanitarian assistance is not maintained and disaster relief measures are not maintained. climate adaptation are not enhanced," the report says.
The joint report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Program (WFP) indicates that the proportion of people facing high levels of food insecurity and malnutrition "has never been higher", surpassing levels seen even during the conflict in 2013 and 2016.
According to the report, 7.76 million people are at risk of acute food insecurity during the lean season from April to July 2023, while 1.4 million children will suffer from malnutrition.
The report blames a combination of conflict, poor macroeconomic conditions, extreme weather events and spiraling food and fuel costs, as well as a drop in funding for humanitarian programs.
"We've been in famine prevention mode all year and averted the worst outcomes, but that's not enough," Makena Walker, acting country director for WFP in South Sudan, said in a statement.
"South Sudan is on the frontline of the climate crisis and day after day families are losing their homes, their livestock, their fields and their hope to extreme weather," adds Ms Walker.
"Without humanitarian food aid, millions more will find themselves in an increasingly dire situation and unable to provide the most basic food for their families."
Famine was declared in South Sudan in 2017 in Leer and Mayendit counties in Unity State, areas that have often been a hotspot for violence.
Last month, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) estimated that around 909,000 people had been affected by flooding in South Sudan, as torrential rains ravaged crops and destroyed homes.
The youngest country in the world, South Sudan has been grappling with deadly conflicts, natural disasters, economic malaise and relentless political strife since gaining independence from Sudan in 2011.
He has spent more than half his life at war, with nearly 400,000 people dead during a five-year civil war that ended in 2018.