The United Nations Resident Coordinator in South Sudan, Sara Beysolow Nyanti, said that an estimated 9.4 million people, a staggering 76 percent of the population of South Sudan, will have humanitarian or protection needs in 2023, which represents an increase of half a million people compared to 2022.
“Something has to change in South Sudan as the number of people in need continues to increase every year and resources continue to dwindle,” Nyanti said in a statement issued in the South Sudanese capital Juba.
He stressed that deteriorating humanitarian conditions are exacerbated by endemic violence, conflict, access limitations, operational interference, public health challenges, and climate shocks such as localized floods and droughts.
Nyanti said subnational violence across the country has led to displacement, limiting people’s access to humanitarian services and critical livelihoods, and disrupting humanitarian operations, while protracted displacement affects more than 2.2 million people. people, many of whom have been unable to return to their homes for years, face significant risks, including family separation and trauma.
It warned that severe food insecurity will affect some 8 million people, or 64 percent of the total population, at the peak of the lean season between April and July 2023, as access to food and income decline. It has been hampered by floods, conflict and economic hardship.
In conflict-affected and flood-affected areas, the UN official said, people’s access to food and sources of income are severely hampered due to displacement to new locations, disruption in the delivery of food assistance and trade flows. In some places, people’s daily rations have been reduced due to funding.
“Many highly food insecure people are in places with chronic vulnerabilities made worse by frequent weather-related shocks, macroeconomic crisis, conflict and insecurity, and low agricultural production,” Nyanti said. ■