As South Sudan nears the November deadline for the formation of a unity government, the IRC calls on all actors to drive the peace process forward and address the terrible food insecurity affecting 6.35 million South Sudanese people, including over 1 million acutely malnourished children.
Martin Omukaba, South Sudan Country Director at the International Rescue Committee (IRC), said, The horrific food insecurity situation in South Sudan is a direct consequence of the ongoing civil war. While the conflict has improved, pockets of fighting are ongoing and areas of South Sudan are still facing famine conditions. All parties in South Sudan must come together and adhere to the November deadline to form a unity government. The number one priority of the unity government must be to address the severe food insecurity facing the South Sudanese people. November is already too late for many.
Thanks to reduced conflict, South Sudan has seen less people facing severe food insecurity, but the numbers are still extremely worrying. It is imperative that a stable unity government take over in November to increase trade flows, ease movements of households and allow the South Sudanese people to access markets, generate an income and feed themselves and their families. The country cannot afford to push back the formation of this government any further.rdquo;
Without political stability, food insecurity will continue to worsen in the Eastern African country that already has more people lacking critical access to food and suffering from malnutrition than any of its neighbors. The IRC calls on all actors, including the international community, to support the peace process in order to aid the South Sudanese people as they rebuild their lives.
The IRC has more than 400 staff in South Sudan responding to the increasingly dire food insecurity crisis through its support for health, nutrition, reproduction health and women's protection and empowerment, child protection, as well as livelihoods.
The IRC has been one of the largest providers of aid in southern Sudan for over 30 years serving more than 900,000 people. The IRC has offered emergency assistance throughout decades of war. While we have been forced periodically to suspend our efforts due to violence, the IRC continues to provide lifesaving support to vulnerable South Sudanese in hard-to-reach areas.
Source: International Rescue Committee.