January 26, 2021 (NEW YORK) – More than 8 million people in South Sudan will need humanitarian assistance this year alone, the United Nations said.
- Women collect food sacks air dropped by the World Food Programme (WFP) in Duk county’s Ayueldit on 25 July 2014 (ST)
The needy, who include 310,000 refugees and asylum seekers reportedly present an increase from the 7.5 million people in need last year.
South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, has a population of about 12 million people.
According to the UN, years of conflict and the impact of climate change are driving up humanitarian needs, including hunger.
“More than 7.2 million people are projected to be severely food insecure during 2021, with some communities facing catastrophic levels of food insecurity,” Stephane Dujarric, a spokesperson for the UN Secretary General said on Tuesday.
He said serious situation has been compounded by severe floods.
“People also continue to be highly vulnerable to diseases, due to low immunization coverage, a weak health system and poor hygiene and sanitation,” added Dujarric.
Meanwhile, the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the COVID-19 pandemic has led to severe economic contractions, spikes in basic commodities and loss of livelihoods.
“Conflict, insecurity and natural disasters have displaced nearly 4 million people since 2013,” the agency noted in a statement.
According to OCHA, the UN and its partners, provided assistance to more than 6 million people across South Sudan in 2020.