More than a million people in South Sudan are severely food insecure and will be in need of assistance during 2013. Many others are on the borderline of severe hunger and will also need aid. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is planning to feed nearly three million people this year in South Sudan.
Conflict and instability can very easily increase the number of food insecure by more than a million warns the UN. The report stated "Insecurity still remains a major constraint to optimizing South Sudan’s agricultural potential. Incidents of armed cattle rustling, violence between and among communities, and the activities of non-state armed groups continue to inhibit farmers."
Last year an improved cereal harvest did help the situation in South Sudan but high rates of hunger and malnutrition remain.
Poverty continues to fuel conflict. Near Yida, the largest refugee settlement in South Sudan, cattle raids have taken place. The UN says aid agencies are "working to resolve tensions and promote peaceful coexistence between the host and refugee community."
Food distributions continue in Akobo and Warrap County after cattle raids took place there as well. South Sudan's military has launched an offensive against a rebel group raising fears of more displacement and suffering among civilians.
The constant violence is preventing South Sudan from developing, leaving civilians to wonder when the vicious cycle will end. Joseph Maker Kur, the Jonglei Peace Commission says, "Peace is the key to life. When there is peace, there is development, and education and all (other) resources can be utilized for future benefit."