South Sudan No Longer In Famine – U.N.

Channels Television  
Updated June 21, 2017
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir

South Sudan is no longer classified as being in famine but the situation remains extremely vulnerable said United Nations Under-Secretary-General for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator on Wednesday.

“The new IPC (Integrated Food Security Phase Classification) assessment in South Sudan which was just released today, shows that famine is no longer occurring in those two counties – Leer and Mayendit – and that further deterioration into famine was averted in two other counties in former Unity State,” Stephen O’Brien said.

However, 45,000 people are still expected to be facing famine-like conditions and more people are on the brink of famine today than there were in February, according to him.

Two years after emerging as an independent state, the oil-rich country was plunged into conflict in December 2013 as the rivalry between President Salva Kiir and his then-vice president, Riek Machar, exploded into violence.

The conflict has prevented many farmers from planting and harvesting their crops. Hyperinflation, which reached more than 800 percent last year, has put the price of imported food beyond the reach of many.

Director of Oxfam International Humanitarian, Nigel Timmins, decried the late response to the crisis.

“What is appalling is that it took a threat of a famine to get significant international response. As a community, we seem to have empowered famine declarations and this has led to some good results but it also seems to give the perception that anything before famine is acceptable – it isn’t,” he said.