South Sudan continues to witness an upsurge in violence in Unity and Upper Nile states where more than 100,000 people are displaced and humanitarian aid deliveries was blocked for 650,000 people from April to June.
Malnourished children are treated at a Médecins Sans Frontières hospital in Leer, South Sudan. Photo: ©Nichole Sobecki/AFP/Getty Images
South Sudan also faces one of the world’s worst food security crises. According to the UNHCR, growing food insecurity has also become one of the major reasons for the displacement of communities. A third of South Sudan’s population, around 3.8 million people do not have sufficient food. Though the direst conditions are in the three conflict-affected states of Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity, food insecurity is also deepening in states that were not directly affected by conflict, such as Warrap and Northern Bahr el Ghazal, where high food prices, rising inflation, depreciation of the local currency and diminishing purchasing power are pushing many families closer to the brink.
In Unity state where AHA has its operations, Abiemnhom, Pariang and Ajuong Thok are facing food insecurity as a result of hiking food prices and the lack of adequate seeds, tools and seasonal flooding which have hindered agricultural activities. The movement of IDPs as those in Abiemnhom relocating to areas like Agok (in Abyei) in search of food has become very common. According to WFP displaced communities as well as host communities will require urgent lifesaving food and livelihood assistance in the next three months.
AHA as one of the humanitarian actors on the ground has been advocating an emergency response by the Camp Coordination and Management (CCCM) cluster since May 2015. AHA in collaboration with WFP subsequently distributed food items for IDPs and host communities in Abiemnhom. AHA hopes to further implement a number of projects that respond to the food crisis in partnership with WFP. These include feeding for education in 6 payams, Blanket Supplementary Feeding Program (BSFP) and Targeted Supplementary Feeding Program (TSFP). The projects will boast the nutrition status of children under 5, pregnant and lactating mothers and school age children, increasing their enrollment and retention in schools.
In the meantime, AHA continues to monitor the Food Security and Livelihood (FSL) situation in Unity State through the cluster coordination meetings and continues to advocate for emergency response through the state focal points and the Camp Coordination and Management (CCCM) cluster in Juba.