JUBA – The World Food Programme said Tuesday it has been “forced” to cut aid to South Sudan due to a lack of funds and warned of a surge in hunger in the war-torn country.
Adeyinka Badejo, Acting Country Director of the World Food Programme in South Sudan said the suspension of aid comes at a time when the country is faced with unprecedented hunger.
“We are extremely concerned about the impact of the funding cuts on children, women, and men who will not have enough to eat during the lean season. These families have completely exhausted their coping strategies,” Badejo said in a statement on Tuesday.
“They need immediate humanitarian assistance to put food on the table in the short-term and to rebuild their livelihoods and resilience to cope with future shocks.”
Badejo said the UN Agency is seeking $426 million to reach those in need through 2022
“Humanitarian needs are far exceeding the funding we have received this year. If this continues, we will face bigger and more costly problems in the future, including increased mortality, malnutrition, stunting, and disease,” she said.
She warned that about 7.7 million people will face severe hunger in the next three months and 1.4 million children will be malnourished.
“These latest reductions to assistance will also impact 178,000 schoolchildren who will no longer receive daily school meals – a crucial safety net that helps keep South Sudanese children in school to learn and grow.”
Conflict in the country, severe flooding, and localized droughts have made about 60 percent of the population food insecure.
The situation has been exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and currency depreciation, which has sent prices of wheat, cooking oil, and other staples soaring.