March 10, 2017(JUBA) – Over 338,000 people in the South Sudan famine-hit areas have received humanitarian assistance, said the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), on Friday.
On 20 February 2017, South Sudanese government and UN agencies declared Some 100,000 people were facing starvation in the two counties of Leer and Mayiandit, while people in Koch and Panyijar nearby were considered at high risk of famine.
“More than 338,000 people in Leer, Mayendit, Koch and Panyijiar have received humanitarian assistance since localised famine was declared in Leer and Mayendit,” said Farhan Haq UN deputy spokesperson on Friday.
Ina separate report, OCHA spokesperson Jens Laerke, said over million people are on the brink of famine but the humanitarian operations are obstructed by the lack of security and threatened by a funding shortage.
“In the middle of the response since 20 February, 28 humanitarians had been advised to leave Mayiandit town by local authorities, following skirmishes north of the town,” Laerke said.
But when they persuaded the authorities to allow aid workers to resume the humanitarian operation, the fighting on the outskirts of the town on 1 March forced the 28 humanitarian workers to stay away.
Regarding the shortage of funding, the spokesperson indicated that the overall requirements for South Sudan for 2017 were at USD 1.6 billion while the UN had received 9.3 percent of that amount.
“More funding was urgently needed, not least to respond in those areas where famine was already a reality,” he stressed.