Humanitarian charity Christian Aid is urging the UK and the wider international community to act swiftly in response to the growing food crisis in South Sudan, saying the violence erupting across the border is adding further strain to communities that are already on the brink.
They predict two-thirds of South Sudanese citizens could require food aid this year.
The recent eruption of conflict in Sudan, mostly in the capital Khartoum, has heightened concerns for the situation in neighbouring South Sudan, where areas closest to the Sudanese border are experiencing the highest levels of food insecurity.
Christian Aid warns that this ongoing conflict will exacerbate an already dire situation.
Before violence broke out between the warring factions, persistent flooding in the region has led to significant losses of livestock, damage to homes, and displacement of vulnerable communities.
The charity is calling on the UK government and international bodies to help them coordinate efforts to ease the suffering of starving citizens.
James Wani, Christian Aid’s South Sudan country manager, said: “The disastrous impacts of food shortages and mass loss of livestock have severely affected the resilience of communities.
“In South Sudan, communities are still living in flood waters, and persistent insecurity and conflict have left two-thirds of the population food insecure.
“Areas in the North and West are at emergency levels of food insecurity and some households may fall into famine.
“We are worried the hunger crisis in South Sudan could escalate to catastrophic levels this year with the recent turn of events in Sudan.
“The country is already facing severe food deficits due to the climate crisis and conflict induced shocks with three-quarters of the population projected to require food aid in 2023.”