S.Sudan famine eases, but more going hungry

Question Period 20170210

Minister of International Development Marie Claude Bibeau made the announcement while on a four-day trip to South Sudan

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the UN children's fund UNICEF and the World Food Programme (WFP) said no fewer than 100,000 people are facing starvation in parts of violence-plagued South Sudan.

The country no longer has areas in famine but nearly two million people on the brink of starvation, report says.

While the designation change reflects some progress, the world's youngest country is still embroiled in a civil war that's been raging since 2013.

He added that the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA)-in Government, the SPLA-in Opposition, and various other entities, took decisions that have fed the conflict, creating "ever deeper divisions between the people of South Sudan".

On Tuesday, the UN's Refugees Agency warned in a new report that South Sudan had the world's fastest growing refugee population past year and could be the next Syria. The U.N. has appealed for $1.6 billion this year to assist South Sudan but has received only half the necessary funding.

The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report says that 1.7 million people are still facing emergency levels of hunger, one step below starvation. People's ability to feed themselves has been severely eroded and continued life-saving emergency food and livelihoods support must continue to prevent a shift back to starvation.

UNICEF said that more than one million children are estimated to be acutely malnourished across South Sudan, including more than 250,000 who are severely malnourished.

In his briefing to the 15-member Council, Mr. Lacroix emphasized that while the Organization continues to make every effort to implement its commitment to the country, "only a truly inclusive political process and the genuine political will" of the key protagonists to end the conflict and implement agreements they reached will bring peace to the war-torn country.

South Sudan's government troops on patrol. "At present, too many parts of the country remain cut off due to insecurity, leaving hundreds of thousands of children on the cusp of catastrophe". The situation is expected to deteriorate even further as the lean season peaks in July - the time of year when household food supplies typically run out before the next harvest.

FAO has provided fishing, crop- and vegetable-growing kits to more than 2.8 million people, including 200,000 in the famine-affected areas, and vaccinated more than 6 million livestock to save lives through livelihoods.

In former Jonglei State, an area that previously had one of the lowest levels of acute malnutrition, roughly 20,000 people are experiencing catastrophic food insecurity.

"I was in the north of the country to witness some air drops", Bibeau said Tuesday in a telephone interview with Radio Canada International.

Rep. Steve Scalise remains in critical condition, doctor says
IS destroys iconic al-Nuri mosque in Mosul