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Last updateSam, 31 Jan 2015 7pm

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Food, nutrition crisis in South Sudan

South Sudan facing major food, nutrition crisis - The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has warned of a major food security and nutrition crisis in South Sudan, where some 3.7 million people are now facing acute or emergency levels of food insecurity.

The UN agency is therefore calling for US$77 million for critical food security and livelihood support for the crisis-affected population, as prices of staple crops soar and basic commodities run out.

UN agencies and NGOs have revised a Crisis Response Plan and are now seeking a total of US$1.27 billion to meet urgent humanitarian needs in the first half of 2014.

Up to seven million people are at risk of some level of food insecurity in the world’s newest nation.

“South Sudan was already the scene of one of the world’s largest humanitarian operations before the fighting began, and the situation is now deteriorating rapidly,” Sue Lautze, FAO's Head of Office in South Sudan, said in a statement obtained by PANA here Thursday.

“Markets have collapsed, infrastructure is damaged, foreign traders have fled, commodity supply corridors have been disrupted by violence, and rural populations are unable to bring their crops, livestock and fish to market for sale,” Lautze said.

Over 870,000 South Sudanese have fled their homes in the last six weeks after fighting broke out in the capital city of Juba in December and spread across the eastern and central parts of the country.

The displacement has severely disrupted the agricultural cycle and the prevailing situation of severe food insecurity will be further exacerbated if farmers miss the main planting season that begins in March.

Pana 07/02/2014