News / Africa

FAO: South Sudan Food Insecurity Deepens

In this photo taken Thursday, June 5, 2014, displaced children wash themselves on the muddy bank of a river just outside the United Nations base which has become home to thousands of those displaced by recent fighting, in the town of Malakal, Upper Nile State, South Sudan.
In this photo taken Thursday, June 5, 2014, displaced children wash themselves on the muddy bank of a river just outside the United Nations base which has become home to thousands of those displaced by recent fighting, in the town of Malakal, Upper Nile State, South Sudan.

Multimedia

Audio
  • Listen to De Capua report on FAO efforts in South Sudan

Joe DeCapua

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization says it has less than half the funding it needs to help ensure food security in parts of South Sudan. The agency wants to send emergency livelihood kits to farmers, fishers and pastoralists as the risk of famine grows.

Listen to De Capua report on FAO efforts in South Sudan
Listen to De Capua report on FAO efforts in South Sudani
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

The FAO has appealed for $108-million for its revised Crisis Response Plan. But so far it’s received just $42-million.

Jeff Tschirley, who’s in charge of the agency’s Emergency and Rehabilitation Division, said conflict is complicating the humanitarian crisis.

“The situation started off badly in December when the violence started. But in the last six weeks we’ve seen a very sharp deterioration in the food security situation. More than a third of the population is at level four or level five in the index that we use to measure food security. And there’s a significant risk of an impending food crisis.”

The conflict has taken a severe toll on South Sudan.

”Reserves are exhausted. Infrastructure’s been damaged. Assets have been abandoned. Agricultural cycles and such [have] been disrupted. And there’s a major problem with access due to the security situation,” he said.

The areas hardest hit by fighting between government forces and rebels are Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity States. There are many displaced people there.

Tschirley said, “[You’ve] got camps set up nearly spontaneously by people where they think they might be able to find some security. But it still involves women going out into the countryside to fetch firewood, or for other things, that really exposes them to significant risk. The other states – the ones that are more calm – those are less impacted. In those cases we are actually focusing on boosting food production by providing quality seed and planting materials, veterinary services and things like this.”

The FAO’s emergency livelihood kits contain seeds, fishing hooks and—what it calls – fundamental survival tools.

Tschirley said the FAO would be able to help many more people if it receives the full $108 milliion requested.

“If we are able to get the additional resources to come up to 108 million, we’ll be able to support another two-million people with these livelihood kits. So far, we’re supporting a little over 200,000 vulnerable households. That’s about [1.2 million] people. In this case we’ve targeted the riverine areas. These areas also are in their rainy period. And access becomes more problematic the longer we go into the period,” he said.

The FAO says time is of the essence. The rains could cause floods and further displacement, as well as a greater lack of access for aid groups. And then there’s the time it takes to grow crops with the seeds in the emergency kits. Tschirley said at least six weeks are needed to grow vegetables big enough to eat.

You May Like

Tunnel Bombs Highlight Savagery of Aleppo Fight

Rebels have used tunneling tactic near government buildings, command posts or supply routes to set off explosives; they detonated their largest bomb this week under Syria's intelligence headquarters More

Sierra Leone Launches New Initiative to Stop Ebola Spread

Government hopes Infection and Prevention Control Units, IPC, will help protect patients and healthcare workers More

UN Official: Fight Against Terrorism Must Not Violate Human Rights

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says efforts by states to combat terrorism are resulting in large scale rights violations against the very citizens they claim to defend More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960s Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More