Floods, droughts, displacement, and continuing armed clashes aggravate increasing food insecurity in the country, according to the government and UN.

South Sudan has been lurching from crisis to crisis, battling flooding, hunger, as well as violence and political disputes.
South Sudan has been lurching from crisis to crisis, battling flooding, hunger, as well as violence and political disputes. (Reuters Archive)

More than 7.7 million South Sudanese, around 63 percent of the population, are facing a food crisis as violence intensifies in the country.

The figure, which marks a seven percent hike on the numbers reported last year, came from a joint report by the government and United Nations presented to the press on Saturday.

The report read that climatic shocks such as floods and droughts, and population displacements are contributing to the increased food insecurity, as well as the ongoing armed clashes.

Moreover, 80 percent of the population who are suffering food crisis are in the Unity, Jonglei, Upper Nile, Warrap, and Eastern Equatoria states according to the report.

"Until conflict is addressed we will continue to see these numbers increase because what it means is that people do not have safe access to their lands to cultivate," Adeyinka Badejo, World Food Programme Acting Country Director in South Sudan said.

"We appeal to the leaders of the country to continue towards the path of peace."

READ MORE: UN: 70% of South Sudan population to face extreme hunger

Engulfed in crises

South Sudan, the world's newest nation, has suffered from chronic instability since its independence in 2011, spending almost half of its life as a nation at war.

In 2013, the country was plunged into a five-year civil war between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and veteran opposition leader Riek Machar.

The war cost almost 400,000 lives and uprooted millions from their homes.

Two years ago, the two men formed a unity government, cementing a peace deal signed in 2018 that brought an end to the conflict.

But since then, South Sudan has lurched from crisis to crisis, battling flooding, hunger, as well as violence and political disputes as the promises of the peace agreement have failed to materialise.

The UN has repeatedly criticised South Sudan's leadership for its role in stoking violence, cracking down on political freedoms and plundering public coffers.

"We will continue to have the situation ... in South Sudan if we don’t start to make that transition to ensuring peace at the community levels," Sara Beysolow Nyanti, the UN humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan said.

READ MORE: 'Guns must go down': South Sudan rivals sign security deal

Source: AFP