South Sudan ranked in ‘highest alert’ category on hunger

South Sudan ranked in ‘highest alert’ category on hunger
Sack of sorghum at Renk. [Photo: Kitab Unango, City Review]

A recent report on hunger has ranked South Sudan among the countries with the greatest need for intervention between June and September 2022.

In the May 2022 Hunger Hotspots report, the World Food Programme (WFP) and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) argue that while South Sudan is treading on a dangerous path, there is an even more urgent need to protect people in Afghanistan and Somalia. The hunger situation in the two countries has hit catastrophic levels.

“These countries all have segments of the population facing IPC phase 5 ‘Catastrophe’ – or at risk of deterioration towards catastrophic conditions, with a total of 750,000 people already facing starvation and death in Ethiopia, Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia, and Afghanistan,” the report partly about the soaring situation.

According to the report, the mounting humanitarian needs in Ukraine have piled up needs in other countries that are now starved of much-needed help.

‘‘The conflict in Ukraine is compounding what is already a year of catastrophic hunger, unleashing a wave of collateral hunger that is spreading across the globe, transforming a series of terrible hunger crises into a global food crisis the world cannot afford.’’

Despite the “new normal” coming in after the COVID-19 pandemic, WFP and FAO predict that countries will still continue to face unpredictable situations especially with dealing with hunger issues due to natural calamities.

It states: ‘‘The report finds that – alongside conflict – climate shocks will continue to drive acute hunger in the outlook period from June to September 2022 and we have entered a ‘new normal’ where frequent and recurring droughts, flooding, hurricanes and cyclones decimate farming, drive displacement and push millions to the brink in countries across the world.’’

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, the Sahel region, Sudan, Syria, and Kenya are all categorised under “countries of very high concern.”

Other joiners of the hotspot zone include Sri Lanka, Benin, Cabo Verde, and Guinea), Ukraine and Zimbabwe, Angola, Lebanon, Madagascar, and Mozambique.

It comes just a week after the South Sudan government blamed the continuing hunger problem on the war in Ukraine, saying that it has drained all the aid.