News / Africa

South Sudan Conflict Erases Food Security Gains, UN Agencies Say

A displaced woman walks with a box of food on her head from a food distribution center at a U.N. compound in Juba, Dec. 23, 2013. (WFP)
A displaced woman walks with a box of food on her head from a food distribution center at a U.N. compound in Juba, Dec. 23, 2013. (WFP)
Charlton Doki
The conflict in South Sudan has undone the strides the young country has taken toward food security in recent years, U.N. agencies said Monday.

Food insecurity levels had dropped to a record low of 3.4 percent of the population from around 10 percent following two good harvests in a row and helped by lower prices, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) said in a report.

But when "serious conflict erupted in mid-December in Juba, which quickly spread across Central Equatoria into the eastern regions of Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile," trade routes were disrupted and hundreds of thousands were displaced, fleeing to states that were unaffected by the crisis and to neighboring countries. 

These people, their livelihoods have been destroyed, which means if they had to go to their farms, if they had to maintain their livestock, this is impossible anymore.
"With hundreds of thousands of people displaced, it means that we are getting back to a situation where these people are in need of food assistance," WFP spokesman in South Sudan Geroge Fominyen said.

"These people, their livelihoods have been destroyed... And, therefore, they now need food assistance,” he said.

Farmers in South Sudan normally plant crops between March and early June.

But unless the displaced are able to return to their homes in time for planting season, "cereal deficits in the next harvest will increase," the report says.
Pro- and anti-government forces have been accused of looting homes, destroying civilian property, including food stocks, pushing millions of South Sudanese into hunger, according to the U.N. and rights agencies.

Insecurity is also disrupting key trade and migration routes, Fominyen said.

“The trade routes where a lot of food is coming in from outside or even going through to other parts of South Sudan are now being disrupted, so it’s difficult for trucks to move or for food to come in, for people to be able to access food,” he said.

FAO will help people to become more food secure by increasing access to seeds, supporting fishing activities, and increasing access to micro-irrigation equipment in areas less affected by the current fighting, Fominyen said.

“We are also continuing with our food for assets activities. In the food for assets activities we provide food assistance and in exchange the communities carry out activities where they can be able to build their own resilience and their livelihoods," he said.

The three states most affected by the conflict - Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile - were also the most food-insecure prior to the outbreak of fighting, the two U.N. agencies said.

WFP is providing emergency food supplies to some 2.5 million people in South Sudan, where the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says up to 3.7 million people are at risk of food insecurity. OCHA also warned that the number could rise if the conflict continues.

You May Like

Isolation, Despair Weigh on Refugees in Remote German Camp

Refugees resettled near village of Holzdorf deep in German forestland say there is limited interaction with public, mutual feelings of distrust

Britons Divided Over Bombing IS

Surveys show Europeans generally support more military action against Islamic State militants, but sizable opposition exists in Britain

Russia Blacklists Soros Foundations as 'Undesirable'

Russian officials add Soros groups to a list of foreign and international organizations banned from giving grants to Russian partners

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

By the Numbers

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs