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Conflict and hunger emergency grow in South Sudan

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The United Nations says the number of displaced persons continues to rise in conflict-torn South Sudan. Hunger is fast increasing as a result. South Sudan is at risk of famine.

There are now 927,000 people in South Sudan who have been displaced from their homes. In December violence escalated in the country with the government battling opposition forces.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) now expects to feed 1.3 million people in its emergency operation. So far about 700,000 people have received food aid from the UN and partners.

Screenings carried out by the UN this year have revealed over 60,000 children with either severe or moderate acute malnutrition.

WFP is facing severe challenges accessing hard-to-reach parts of the country. Roads become impassable with the rains. Airlifts of food are utilized. However, these are more expensive. The mission in South Sudan is already low funds. WFP says the "pipeline shortfall for nutrition commodities may jeopardise WFP’s ability to preposition nutrition commodities by the of May."

The UN food agency depends on voluntary donations for its relief operations.

WFP has set up a donation page for South Sudan.