The U.N.’s Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) warns that the country will begin next year with the worst food security situation in the country’s history. More than half the country’s population, around 5.1 million, will be severely food insecure in 2018 according to the latest joint report by the U.N. and South Sudan.
The FAO is now urging donors for funds to help end the food shortage.
“We have still a huge gap in terms of funding, we are funded less than 40% for the time being for the campaign for the year 2018, so it’s an urgent request for funds because to have the seeds and tools in Juba before the campaign starts, it has to go to procurement so, we are urgently asking for additional funds,” Serge Tissot, FAO Representative, told CGTN’s Patrick Oyet.
The FAO says it has supported 4.2 million South Sudanese people with farming tools, seeds and fishing nets this year.
However, the ongoing violence didn’t allow farmers to cultivate and even though it’s now harvest season in the country, most of the food commodities in the markets here are imported from neighboring countries.
The war has also triggered inflation in South Sudan, and many locals are unable to afford food.
“Money is not there in circulation let me say, customers, they go on reducing, we used to get let’s say, 50 customers per day by then but now they keep on reducing, even we get 10 and even those 10 they don’t buy the items they used to buy,” said William Mwereza, a Ugandan Businessman Operating in South Sudan.
Insecurity along major roads is also making it difficult for food to reach the population.
South Sudan’s food security situation has been deteriorating since war began in 2013, experts say the ultimate solution to the country’s food shortage is for peace to return to the country to allow people to cultivate rather than depend on food from neighbouring countries and aid agencies.