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South Sudan hunger threatens more than half of the population of the Country
the JUBA - Three United Nations agencies reported today that approximately 6.5 million people in South Sudan - over half of the population - may be in a situation of food insecurity acute, in the peak of the famine period (may-July). The situation is particularly worrying in the areas most affected by the floods of 2019, in which food security has deteriorated significantly since last June, according to the report, the Scale of Classification the integrated food security (IPC), published today by the government of South Sudan, by the United Nations Organization for food and Agriculture (FAO), the United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

1.3 million malnourished children. it Is estimated that in 2020, 1.3 million children will be exposed to acute malnutrition. Between 2019 and 2020, the prevalence of acute malnutrition among children has increased slightly, from 11.7 to 12.6% across the country, but the increase was significantly larger in the counties affected by the floods - from 19.5% to 23.8% in Jonglei, and from 14 to 16.4% in the High-Nile. This can be attributed to reduced food availability and high morbidity - mainly due to the contaminated water and the outbreak of malaria due to stagnant water.

The nightmare of hunger in Upper Nile. are Especially at risk are the 20,000 people who - starting in January - are exposed to levels of hunger more extreme level of "catastrophe" of food insecurity and / or IPC 5) in the counties of Akobo, Duk, and Ayod, which last year were affected by the heavy rains and in need of intervention, intense and urgent. From here, in July it expected a gradual worsening of hunger, especially in Jonglei, in Upper Nile, southern chad and in the Bar El-Ghazal northern, with more than 1.7 million people exposed to the level of "emergency" food insecurity (phase IPC 4), following the devastating flooding, and low levels of food production. In the course of the famine period will be 33 counties to reach the level of "emergency" food insecurity, a sharp increase from the 15 of January.

And there is also to manage the invasion of the locusts. In general, in January-5.3 million south sudanese were already in difficulties in obtaining enough food each day, or were exposed to levels of food insecurity "crisis" or worse (stage IPC 3 and beyond). "Despite some improvements, seasonal food production, the number of hungry people remains dangerously high and continues to increase. In addition, there is now the problem of swarms of locusts, which could further worsen the situation. It is important to maintain and increase our support to the people of South Sudan, so that it can restore or improve their livelihoods and food production, and enable the government to manage the invasion of the locusts", said Meshack Malo FAO Representative in South Sudan.

stocks are running low. starting In February is expected to increase hunger, due mainly to the depletion of food stocks and high food prices. Overall, the effects of floods and of the consequent migration of the population, insecurity, localized, of the economic crisis, poor agricultural production and of the long years of exhaustion of the resources they continue to keep hungry people.

When the stability results. The report also highlights that the relative peace and stability in the Country have led to some improvements in the general state of food security and it is expected that the upcoming season of the lean will be slightly less severe compared to last year, when 6.9 million people have found themselves in a state of food insecurity in the level of "crisis" or worse. For example, from the signing of the peace agreement revitalized the September 2018, cereal production has increased by 10%, and a more stable environment has allowed some farmers to restore their livelihoods, which, thanks to the rains favourable, has favoured the increase of food production.

React to the crisis. The FAO in 2019 has provided emergency assistance for livelihoods, including seeds, agricultural tools and kit from fishing, to over 3.5 million people and has cared for or vaccinated, about 8 million animals. FAO has also supported more than 60,000 families affected by the floods to help them to restore their livelihoods. This year, the FAO aims to increase food production and protect livelihoods by distributing seeds of vegetables, agricultural tools, agricultural tools, kits and fishing kits and vegetables and cash assistance to those most in need. We are also carrying out vaccination and treatment of livestock, to protect more than 3 million animals from diseases and malnutrition. For its program of measures to 2020 the FAO requires $ 75 million.

The protection of children. 2019, UNICEF and its partners have helped an unprecedented number of children - more than 200,000 - to heal from the severe malnutrition that hit the South Sudan. For 2020, it is necessary a change of paradigm with a cross-sectoral approach more intense in order to reverse the situation, through early intervention, targeted and sensitive to nutrition in the critical moments of the life of the children, in order to drastically reduce malnutrition.

WFP: 190,000 tonnes in 60 stores. , In 2020, WFP plans to assist approximately 5.4 million people by providing food and life-saving to the most vulnerable food assistance to communities to build or restore their resources, school meals and nutritious products special to prevent and treat malnutrition among children and pregnant or lactating women. The WFP aims to pre-position the 190,000 tons of food in more than 60 stores before the beginning of the rains in may, which will not only help save lives, but will also reduce the costs, making unnecessary the expensive launches of airplanes when many areas become inaccessible by road.

The hope with the look to next Saturday. After over six years of civil conflict, the whole economic system is crumbling, literally, and the humanitarian crisis has reached levels of no return. But many are hoping that Saturday, February 22, might be the right time, because it will be the day of the inauguration of the new government of national unity resulting from the peace agreement, signed by the parties to the conflict, in September of 2018. Still, however, the number of States is yet to be established. The Constitution of the Country speaks of the 10 States, even if 5 years ago, president Salva Kiir decreed a new division of the territory, providing as many as 28 States, and then become even 32 in 2017. All of this coexists with the strong hopes of peace, but nobody hides that may emerge and new patterns of conflict.

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