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Food insecurity likely to worsen – FAO

Author : | Published: Thursday, February 2, 2017

Children line up for food: file photo

More than four million people are likely to be food insecure within the next six months, the Food and Agriculture Organization has warned.

It says the situation will likely be more critical if it is not met with timely response due to the lean season starting this month until May.

The FOA says the northern parts of the country are likely to be mostly affected.

During the lean season, stocks of food will get used up and prices are likely to sharply increase, leaving households struggling to purchase enough food.

In its latest situation report, the FAO says an estimated 400,000 people are already severely food insecure in urban areas, including in Juba, Wau and Aweil.

It says people living in urban areas are struggling to cope with rapidly increasing price rises on basic food items.

Food insecurity and malnutrition have reached ‘deeply worrying’ levels, with nutrition expected to deteriorate to ‘critical’ levels.

“Livelihood support is critical for the most vulnerable populations to prevent asset depletion or reduce their adoption of negative coping mechanisms and reduce the number of people relying on food assistance for their survival in 2017,” partly read the report.

The FAO says instability has continuously restricted food production in previously stable areas of Greater Equatoria region, including the country’s main cereal producing areas, and Western Bahr el Ghazal.

The agency also notes that the costs and challenges facing the humanitarian response are rising significantly.

It’s seeking $61 million under the 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan for South Sudan.

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