USAID’s Food for Peace Director has said the US government remains committed to supporting South Sudan in its fight against food insecurity.
Mathew Nims made this statement last evening, in a telephonic press Briefing held in Washington DC, ahead of the World Food Day on Tuesday.
This event is marked annually on 16 October to call for action dedicated to tackling global hunger where people from around the world come together to declare their commitment to eradicating worldwide hunger.
Last month, the National Bureau of Statistics warned that parts of the former Jonglei, Unity, Upper Nile, and Western Bahr El Ghazal states are expected to face acute food shortages early next year.
It said the September Integrated Food Security Phase Classification indicates that over 6 million people in the country are facing the worst phase of acute food insecurity.
USAID has been leading in the provision of emergency food assistance to those affected by the conflict in South Sudan through food assistance and improving food security in the long term.
In his briefing last evening, Mathew Nims said the US government has provided over 350 million USD in 2017 alone to address the high rate of malnutrition and to support efforts for improving food security across the country.
He further reiterated the US government’s commitment to continue supporting these efforts and urged the government to ensure a return of peace and security and unhindered access to humanitarian actors.
“The US remains committed to South Sudan and is very much encouraging all the parties to come together to end the conflict.”
However, Mr. Nims called on the peace parties to improve access to all these people who need aid and all humanitarian actors.
Meanwhile, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization said insecurity and dependency on aid have led to the low food production in the country.
FAO’s representative in South Sudan – Pierre Vauthier described the food security situation in South Sudan as alarming.
“So this is very alarming. Today, 6.1 million South Sudanese are having difficulty to find food, and it is a big large number compared to the total population.”
He said there is need to involve farmers in capacity-building and resilience programs for South Sudan to discourage reliance on import.
Pierre added that F.A.O is engaging communities in various farming activities.
These include distribution of seeds, capacity building, and the fight against fall armyworm among others.
The theme for 2018 is “our actions are our future” – Zero hunger, after a period of decline, world hunger is on the rise again – Tuesday and over 820 million people are suffering chronic undernourishment.