In response to the new IPC figures that show that famine has been pushed back in the two counties of Leer and Mayendit – which have now gone from being in famine to humanitarian crisis – Sara Almer, Oxfam South Sudan Country Director, said:
“Thanks to aid efforts, famine has been pushed back in most of Leer and Mayendit, but 45,000 people in these areas and in former Jonglei State are still facing famine-like conditions. There is no room for complacency: the food crisis continues to spread across the country and 6 million people, half the population of South Sudan, are still facing severe hunger and need immediate help.
“More than one million people in former Jonglei State are living in extreme hunger, having gone for months without enough food to eat. Oxfam is distributing emergency food in affected areas in a race against time to prevent the situation getting even worse.
“Aid is helping, but South Sudan’s hungriest people have run out of ways to cope and still depend on food aid to survive. The coming rainy season means that delivering help to people will be harder. With the rains also come higher risks of cholera and other water borne disease epidemics. And the rains occur at the hungriest time of the year just before this year’s crops are harvested.
“While immediate help to fight hunger is still needed now, what the people of South Sudan ultimately need is peace. Along with sending aid, the international community needs to redouble its efforts to bring all warring parties to the negotiating table and to peacefully end their differences.”
For interviews with Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Helen Szoke who has recently been to South Sudan, visiting areas near the previous famine zone, or more information, please contact Dylan Quinnell on 0450 668 350 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Donations to support Oxfam’s emergency response in South Sudan and other countries suffering from the hunger crisis can be made online at oxfam.org.au/hunger or by calling 1800 034 034.
Notes to editors:
Since July 2016 the Australian Government has given $68 million to the humanitarian responses in Africa, largely to South Sudan, including a nearly $20 million contribution made in late May.
The IPC (Integrated Food Security Phase Classification) is a tool for improving food security analysis and decision-making. It is a standardized scale that integrates food security, nutrition and livelihood information into a clear statement about the nature and severity of food insecurity and implications for strategic response. The IPC was originally developed for use in Somalia by FAO’s Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU). Since then, several national governments and international agencies have introduced it in different food security contexts and is now being used in over 25 countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.