South Sudan Faces Worst Hunger Level in Four Years, WFP Says

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South Sudan is facing the highest levels of food insecurity in the nation’s four-year history, with 4.6 million people, or 40 percent of the population, facing acute hunger in the next three months and needing urgent aid, the World Food Programme said,

More than a year of civil war, as well as high food prices and an economic crisis are among the causes, the WFP said Wednesday. The worst conditions are in Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity states, where clashes between the army and rebels are displacing “large numbers of people in very remote areas,” according to the WFP.

A lack of access to farming inputs in Upper Nile has cut yields, leaving the country with a 249,000 metric-ton shortfall of cereals, Agriculture Minister Beda Machar told reporters in the capital, Juba, on Wednesday. Without added support, families will further struggle to cope in July, which traditionally marks the start of the lean season, Machar said.

More than 2 million people have been displaced since the conflict broke out in 2013 over political infighting.