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Home » News

‘Storm of hunger’ threatens lives of 2.5 million South Sudanese – UN official

Article / Review by on December 15, 2011 – 8:37 pmNo Comments

‘Storm of hunger’ threatens lives of 2.5 million South Sudanese – UN official

Sudanese refugees rest next to their UNHCR tent inside South SudanSudanese refugees rest next to their UNHCR tent inside South Sudan

Damaged crops combined with conflict and insecurity are threatening to leave some 2.5 million people in South Sudan – the world’s newest country – in critical conditions unless food assistance is provided immediately, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) warned today.

“A gathering storm of hunger is approaching South Sudan, caused by crop failure and market disruption,” said WFP Director in South Sudan Chris Nikoi. “Food prices have already doubled or tripled in some areas, leaving hundreds of thousands of children vulnerable to malnutrition at a key developmental stage of their young lives.”

Recent erratic rains have damaged crops, and border closures between Sudan and South Sudan are disrupting food trade, leading to frequent shortages and high food prices. Conflict and insecurity aggravate the situation. South Sudan has been beset by outbreaks of ethnic violence since it became independent in July from Sudan, and the presence of many armed groups and militias across the country, as well as an increase in refugees add further complications.

A gathering storm of hunger is approaching South Sudan, caused by crop failure and market disruption.

In a news release issued by the agency, WFP said it would scale up its operation to support 2.7 million hungry and conflict-affected people in 2012. Assistance will include providing highly fortified supplementary foods to more than 500,000 children, pregnant women and nursing mothers.

In addition to emergency assistance, WFP will help communities and families become more self-sufficient and productive through food-for-assets activities, while laying the groundwork for other projects to build longer-term resilience.

WFP stressed that one of the main upcoming challenges will be making supplies accessible as poor infrastructure combined with conflict and growing insecurity – particularly the use of landmines – hinder distribution capabilities. WFP also stressed that timing will be critical since up to 60 per cent of the country will be cut off once the rainy season starts in March and April next year.

The agency estimates it will need emergency funds of about $92 million to address hunger needs in South Sudan in the first four months of next year.

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About United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)

Fighting hunger worldwide

Medicinezine.com United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Logo

The World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.

“In emergencies, we get food to where it is needed, saving the lives of victims of war, civil conflict and natural disasters. After the cause of an emergency has passed, we use food to help communities rebuild their shattered lives.”

WFP is part of the United Nations system and is voluntarily funded.

Born in 1961, WFP pursues a vision of the world in which every man, woman and child has access at all times to the food needed for an active and healthy life. We work towards that vision with our sister UN agencies in Rome — the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) — as well as other government, UN and NGO partners.

In 2011 we aim to reach more than 90 million people with food assistance in more than 70 countries. Around 10,000 people work for the organization, most of them in remote areas, directly serving the hungry poor.

WFP’s five objectives:

  1. Save lives and protect livelihoods in emergencies
  2. Prepare for emergencies
  3. Restore and rebuild lives after emergencies
  4. Reduce chronic hunger and undernutrition everywhere
  5. Strengthen the capacity of countries to reduce hunger

WFP’s Mission statement

WFP is the food aid arm of the United Nations system. Food aid is one of the many instruments that can help to promote food security, which is defined as access of all people at all times to the food needed for an active and healthy life. ¹ The policies governing the use of World Food Programme food aid must be oriented towards the objective of eradicating hunger and poverty. The ultimate objective of food aid should be the elimination of the need for food aid.

Targeted interventions are needed to help to improve the lives of the poorest people – people who, either permanently or during crisis periods, are unable to produce enough food or do not have the resources to otherwise obtain the food that they and their households require for active and healthy lives.

Consistent with its mandate, which also reflects the principle of universality, WFP will continue to:

  • use food aid to support economic and social development;
  • meet refugee and other emergency food needs, and the associated logistics support; and
  • promote world food security in accordance with the recommendations of the United Nations and FAO.

The core policies and strategies that govern WFP activities are to provide food aid:

  • to save lives in refugee and other emergency situations;
  • to improve the nutrition and quality of life of the most vulnerable people at critical times in their lives; and
  • to help build assets and promote the self-reliance of poor people and communities, particularly through labour-intensive works programmes.

Share food, change lives

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> United Nations (UN).

The General Assembly in session. Photo credit: UN / Eskinder Debebe The United Nations was established on 24 October 1945 by 51 countries committed to preserving peace through international cooperation and collective security. Today, nearly every nation in the world belongs to the UN: membership totals 192 countries.

When States become Members of the United Nations, they agree to accept the obligations of the UN Charter, an international treaty that sets out basic principles of international relations. According to the Charter, the UN has four purposes:

  • to maintain international peace and security;
  • to develop friendly relations among nations;
  • to cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights;
  • and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.

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* The above story is adapted from materials provided by United Nations (UN)
** More information at United Nations (UN)

More about United Nations (UN)

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