Oxfam Still Working Hard To Beat Back Famine In South Sudan

famine africa

According to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) figures, the famine that has gripped parts of Africa has been pushed back in the two South Sudan counties of Leer and Mayendit and is now classified as a humanitarian crisis instead of famine. Sara Almer, Oxfam South Sudan Country Director says as a result of the efforts made to deliver aid, famine has been driven back in most of Leer and Mayendit. Whilst that is good news, 45,000 people in these areas are still facing famine-like conditions.

Success should not lead to complacency

Ms Almer adds that success in pushing back famine should not make us complacent, the food crisis continues to spread across South Sudan and nearly half the population of South Sudan or 6 million people are still at risk of severe hunger and require immediate assistance. Ms Almer estimates that over a million people in the former Jonglei State continue to live in a state of extreme hunger and have undergone months without enough food to eat. Oxfam is doing its part by distributing emergency food in the worst affected areas as it seeks to prevent the situation from getting even worse.

The starving depend on food aid

Ms Almer goes on to say whilst aid is providing some relief, the hungriest people in South Sudan have simply run out of ways to handle the situation and depend on food aid in order to survive. The rainy season is fast approaching, which will make it harder to deliver aid to people. Along with the rains comes an increased risk of cholera and other water borne disease out-breaks. As the rains start we arrive at the time of year when people are at their hungriest, just before the harvesting of crops.

 “While immediate help to fight hunger is still needed now, what the people of South Sudan ultimately need is peace. Along with sending aid, the international community needs to redouble its efforts to bring all warring parties to the negotiating table and to peacefully end their differences.” Said Ms Almer

IPC used by many countries and aid agencies now

The IPC system is used as a mechanism for improving food security analysis and related decision making. It is basically a standardised scale that combines information about food security, livelihood and nutrition into a clear metric which shows the nature and severity of food security. The IPC was first used by the FAO’s Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU). Since it was first developed a number of countries and international agencies have introduced it in their own food security contexts.

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