The United Nations humanitarian chief says the situation in South Sudan has significantly deteriorated over the past year.
Stephen O’Brien says this is due to the displacement of people, saying that hunger is now widespread across the country.
“Let me be clear: people in South Sudan are not just fleeing their homes because they need food, shelter or medical care and school for their children. They are fleeing [because they] fear for their lives,” Mr. O’Brien told reporters at UN Headquarters in New York.
In the last month alone, 70,000 South Sudanese fled to Uganda, and some 4.8 million people are not getting enough food, according to the UN.
He also said a quarter million children are severely malnourished.
“We must protect them, and we must save their lives,” he stressed.
The UN humanitarian chief appreciated the international community for providing more than half a billion US dollars in aid, but said that there was still a gap of $700 million to cover humanitarian needs.
Mr O’Brien said the gap would only grow once the appeal was revised to reflect the needs that have arisen since the beginning of the year.
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