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Food security in South Sudan reaches ‘catastrophic’ levels

22 October 2015 - An alert released today by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) highlights food security in parts of South Sudan has deteriorated to ‘catastrophic’ and ‘emergency’ levels, says Christian Aid.

The alert, based on results endorsed by the Government of South Sudan, calls for immediate humanitarian action to prevent famine in South Sudan. The report suggests that 3.9 million people are now considered to be severely food insecure, with 30,000 classified as ‘catastrophic’ and facing extreme conditions.

The number of food insecure households across the country is almost 80% higher than in the same period last year as the long-term effects of conflict take their toll.

The IPC grades food security from 1-5, with humanitarian ‘catastrophe’ being the fifth and most severe classification and humanitarian ‘emergency’ at fourth.

In Unity state, one of the three states that has been worst-affected, Christian Aid’s partner is distributing fast maturing vegetable seeds, fishing nets, water purification tablets, and plastic sheeting for shelter to the most vulnerable households.

To help prevent the spread of disease, it is also distributing hygiene kits, which include soap, sanitary products, jerry cans for transporting and storing water and mosquito nets.
Rosie Crowther, Christian Aid Emergency Programme Officer, is currently visiting Nyal in Unity State and said: “The situation in conflict areas is critical. People who have fled the fighting with nothing are depending on host families to survive but these families are struggling themselves.

"Crops and food stores have been destroyed, cattle stolen, livelihoods ruined. Civilians have suffered violent attacks. People are eating wild foods and drinking unsafe water to survive. We urgently need more funding to respond to this humanitarian crisis.”

The present conflict in South Sudan erupted 22 months ago after a political struggle between President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar quickly escalated along ethnic lines and rapidly spread across the country. 

Tens of thousands of people have been killed, more than 1.6 million have been internally displaced and 600,000 refugees have fled the country to escape the ongoing violence.

To donate to the Christian Aid South Sudan Appeal, please click here.


If you would like further information, please contact Claire Meeghan on +44 (0)20 7523 2318 or at cmeeghan@christian-aid.org

Notes to editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 40 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.

2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change explains how we set about this task.

3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. Further details at http://actalliance.org

4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire

5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk


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