As South Sudan faces a continuing hunger emergency, funding is desperately needed to provide food aid. The United Nations said yesterday that "US $ 84 million is urgently needed to cover food supplies and transport until the end of the year."
The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is currently feeding around 1.7 million people in South Sudan. WFP wants to increase this number to 2.85 million by the end of the year. This will depend on whether the funding is received. WFP relies entirely on voluntary donations from governments and the public.
In South Sudan around eight percent of the population are severely food insecure, with 34 percent facing moderate food insecurity. The rates of severe hunger are much higher among those displaced by the internal conflict ongoing in the country.
In Jonglei state, the largest in South Sudan, WFP is providing aid to 30,000 people who have been displaced by fighting. WFP spokesperson, Challiss McDonough says "WFP intends to provide relief for up to 60,000 people by the end of the year."
Food distributions in Pibor town in Jonglei had to be delayed because of insecurity. Earlier this year, a Catholic Relief Services program to boost agriculture also had to be suspended in Pibor because of the threat violence.
Jonglei, along with the Lakes, Unity and Warrap states are experiencing high levels of general acute malnutrition rates ranging from 14 to 21 percent of children under five years. Small children can suffer lasting physical and mental damage from malnutrition.