Food Stability Threatened In South Sudan

The ongoing conflict in South Sudan is affecting food security in some parts of the country – previously classified as the more stable states. Reduced supply of food arriving in the town and prices rising sharply mean that even the parts not directly affected by the conflict now suffer the effects of it. The UN Food and Agriculture Agency says in some regions up to 52% of people are food insecure. The UN humanitarian agencies assessed that many families had migrated north of Sudan because they could not afford the high price of food in the markets or they could not produce their own crops.

The biggest challenge lies in creating a more resilient rural agriculture, which is temporary by construction – not in providing food aid. Current action is focused on creating and piloting a new community farming approach to help the most vulnerable people. This also includes an effort to build peaceful understanding between communities, particularly pastoral communities who reallocate on a seasonal basis.

The problem of increasing food insecurity may somehow be affected by recent attacks aimed at non-governmental aid convoys. In the last week, six aid workers were killed while travelling along the Government-controlled area, increasing the number of all workers killed to at least 79, since December 2013. This was the worst incident aimed at aid workers in Africa in more than 3 years. Such attacks yield a double loss, as they not only put lives of innocent aid workers at risk, but they also threaten the lives of thousands of people dependent on the assistance of these non-governmental organizations. The number of people in need is big. Around 7.5 million people are in need of relief and protection, and the humanitarian crisis has deepened even further upon the recent outbreak of a famine.

These are some of the reasons why the need for leadership of South Sudan to achieve an immediate termination of aggression is becoming great. “All the optimisms that accompanied the birth of South Sudan has been shattered by the internal divisions, rivalries and the irresponsible behavior of some of its leaders,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres last week. As a result of the conflict between the President Salva Kiir and the Vice-President Riek Machar, the youngest country on Earth has plunged into chaos. Some 1.9 million people are displaced internally and another 1.6 have sought refuge in neighboring countries. The crisis continues to deepen every week, spreading to previously stable areas. Despite the concerns expressed by the UN and the international community, the Government has not expressed any meaningful concern and has not taken any noticeable steps to address the trouble of its people.