ICRC warned of looming hunger in South Sudan 

International Committee of the Red Cross -ICRC team distributed food to community members in Equatoria

International Committee for Red Cross has warned of severe imminent hunger in South Sudan during the Revitalized Peace Agreement. 

The humanitarian organization that provided food assistants to thousands of people across the country expressed the anxiety of severe looming hunger due to local food production decline.

According to the assessment conducted between November to December 2020, ICRC said communities in nine out of ten states harvested on average 50% production of cereal and vegetables compared to 2019. 

The fourth harvest monitory assessment was conducted in Jonglei, Upper Nile, Warrap, Unity, and the Lakes States. During the assessment exercise, ICRC interviewed 4,200 people and held 55 focus group discussions.

ICRC spokesperson Lucien Christen says organizations will continue providing seeds and agriculture tools to vulnerable people to boost sustainable humanitarian assistants. 

Mr. Lucien stated ICRC director Robert Mardini went to Rumbek and Akobo this week for field assessment to get ordinary people’s views on the ground. 

In the press release, the director was quoted during his field visit; “People are tired of depending on aid. They want to live in dignity and provide for themselves and their families.”

“What is clear is that, yes, at the movement, many South Sudanese depend directly on the humanitarian assistant, but they are tired of the situation. It is not a choice. So, I think you know if they have the possibility, they were able to harvest their food, and it is the solution they would prefer,” Christen reiterated.

ICRC blamed the crisis that continuing conflict and armed violence in the country has contributed to insufficient production.

The Equatoria States was mentioned, “faced a heightened risk of hunger after thousands of people fled their homes, losing crops and livestock due to ongoing conflict.”

The organization cautioned renewed outbreak of armed violence or the intensification of conflict would increase the chance of immediate, “life-threatening food shortages” for hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese.

On Thursday European Union issued a statement humanitarian situation remains critical, and an immediate system-wide scale-up of the UN’s humanitarian response is needed. 

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