The UN World Food Program is suspending aid to a third of those it planned to support this year in South Sudan as the East African country faces its worst hunger crisis since independence in 2011.
Lack of funding may increase the risk of starvation for 1.7 million people, the organization said in an emailed statement.
“The humanitarian needs far exceed the funding we have received this year,” said Adeyinka Badejo, acting director of WFP in South Sudan. “If this continues, we will face bigger and more costly problems in the future, including increased mortality, malnutrition, stunting and disease.”
Conflict in the country, severe flooding and localized droughts have caused food insecurity for around 60% of the population and the situation has been exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and currency depreciation , which sent prices for wheat, cooking oil and other commodities skyrocketing.
Some 7.7 million people will face severe starvation over the next three months and 1.4 million children will suffer from malnutrition, the UN agency has warned. The program needs $426 million to reach those in need through 2022, WFP said.
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