Hunger is hitting hard in South Sudan as food prices soar beyond the reach of many. Aid agencies estimate that some 3.5 million people in South Sudan are facing dangerous food shortages.
The central bank of South Sudan move to devalue the national currency to match the black market rates in December last year led to high inflation.
“The forces of supply and demand are the once to determine the price, the rate,that is what is called the market based rate.” Cornelius Koriom, Governor Central Bank of South Sudan
Although authorities said the move would help stabilize the situation, many South Sudan have had to pay high prices.
“The poor who don’t have money will die of hunger because they cannot afford, they can look at food, they can admire but they cannot afford, this is what is causing us more problems in South Sudan, people need to farm a lot so that even the poor can also eat with two pounds or three pounds and live now we are reaching death, even if a poor person is taken to the hospital he will die of hunger, nobody will bring him food because everything is expensive.”Susan Daniel, Market Vendor
South Sudan depends on food imports from neighboring countries. The lack of foreign currency in the local market means traders are unable to import goods. The ministry of finance says it’s working on a formula to subsidize food in the country in a bid to beat inflation.
“Most of our food is coming from outside the country and therefore, we have to zero in on reducing the price of food, towards that, the government now is taking steps to try to waive customs on certain basic items especially food stuff.”Deng Athorbei, Finance minister
High market prices are yet another blow to South Sudanese who continue to face fears of a return to war should their leaders fail to agree on peace implementation terms