UN says over 7 million people are food insecure in South Sudan

November 24, 2015 (NEW YORK) – The United Nations (UN) has rung an alarm bell in which it announced the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the war-ravaged South Sudan with over 7 million people at risk of starvation, almost 70% of the country’s overall population.

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Staff from the UN World Food Programme (WFP) register displaced people at the Eastern Bank transit camp in South Sudan’s Western Bahr el Ghazal state on 29 August 2014 (ST)

The announcement was made in New York by the UN secretary general’s spokesman, Dujarric at a press conference at the UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday.

“From South Sudan, our humanitarian colleagues say that the situation there continues to deteriorate,” Dujarric said.

“Humanitarian agencies report that an estimated 7.5 million people are now food insecure and an unprecedented malaria outbreak is affecting nearly all the states in South Sudan.”

Over 2.3 million people have been forced to flee their homes since the conflict began, according to the UN estimates.

The situation is aggravated by the ongoing conflict in the region despite the peace deal signed in August between the warring parties in the world’s youngest nation.

The mostly affected areas are the opposition strongholds in the greater Upper Nile region from which majority supporters of the opposition leader, Riek Machar, hail.

Meanwhile, the Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan, Eugene Owusu, has strongly condemned the armed robbery of the Nile Hope NGO compound in Juba on Friday in which aid workers were held at gunpoint and significant assets were taken.

This is the latest in a string of violent incidents affecting aid agencies. In October alone, humanitarian partners reported 32 cases of attempted or successful robbery, burglary and looting, including 15 in Juba the capital alone.

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