WFP, FAO Warn Food Security Worsening For Millions In South Sudan, Call For Action

The U.N.’s World Food Programme (WFP) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) “warned [Wednesday] that millions of people in South Sudan are facing worsening hunger and called for urgent action to improve food security through adequate food aid and projects to boost agricultural production,” the U.N. News Centre reports (2/8). “[C]onflict, population displacement and high food prices” are threatening food security for 4.7 million in the new nation this year, up from 3.3 million in 2011, according to a report (.pdf) from the agencies, Reuters notes. “Of those, about one million people are severely food insecure, and that number could double if fighting continues and prices keep rising, the report said,” the news agency writes (2/8).

“‘This is a rapidly approaching crisis that the world cannot afford to ignore,’ Chris Nikoi, WFP’s South Sudan director, said in a statement on Wednesday. ‘The situation is dire, and we are doing everything we can to be ready, but we are running out of time,” AlertNet notes (Migiro, 2/8). “In order to reach 2.7 million vulnerable people with food assistance, WFP is seeking donor support to cover the current shortfall of $160 million. If the situation deteriorates further, additional funding will be required,” an FAO press release states, adding, “FAO is seeking $23 million in donor support through the U.N. Consolidated Appeal Process” (2/8).