By NECJOGHA TEAM
Juba, South Sudan – The Famine Early Warning Systems Networks (FEWS NET) has said that despite normal and above normal rainfall in parts of South Sudan fighting between different groups is fanning famine.
“Despite the implementation of the September 2018 peace deal, fighting between various groups, including the opposition and armed civilians, has been reported in parts of Maiwut of Upper Nile and Lobonok of Central Equatoria. Cattle-raiding in Panyijiar of Unity and Cueibet of Lakes have also led to loss of lives and livestock, while recent ambushes on the Kaya-Yei and Yei-Ombasi roads in Yei of Central Equatoria and on the Juba-Bor road in Central Equatoria and Jonglei have led to loss of lives and disruptions to trade flows. However, lower conflict in Greater Bahr el Ghazal and Greater Upper Nile is permitting greater household movement and engagement in typical livelihood activities and has encouraged the return of both internally and externally displaced populations. As of June 30, UNHCR reports that 47,602 refugees have returned to South Sudan since January, though not all returnees have returned to their place of origin. Of this number, 20,431 refugees returned in June. 22,000 internally displaced persons that were sheltering in protection of civilians sites in Wau have returned to their places of origin in Wau town and other locations,” says an outlook on the food condition in South Sudan.
The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on some 28 countries.
FEWS NET says that many areas in South Sudan are continuing to experience Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes in South Sudan, despite the seasonal consumption of the green harvest in Greater Equatoria and seasonal increases in livestock productivity and fish and wild food availability more broadly.
“Based on rapid market assessments conducted by FEWS NET in late July and early August, supplies of essential food commodities and the number of retail traders operating in Juba markets has increased relative to early 2018. However, staple food prices remain high due to multiple taxes in hub markets and effective household demand remains low. Rural markets continue to have low supply given deteriorated feeder road conditions and the impact of five years of conflict,” the outlook reads in part.
FEWS NET says that in August, green harvest consumption is ongoing in many parts of Greater Equatoria. In parts of Eastern Equatoria and Central Equatoria, however, the maize harvest is delayed to late August due to a 10-30 day delay in the onset of the rains. In Lakes, green harvest has also been delayed until late August/early September in several areas of Cueibet and Yirol East, while in maize and cattle livelihoods zone areas of Upper Nile, maize harvest is expected in September. In Greater Upper Nile and Greater Bahr el Ghazal regions, livestock have fully returned to their homesteads and access to livestock products has seasonally increased among households who own livestock. Additionally, fish and wild foods have become more available given the ongoing June to September rains, though in southern and north-western areas of Juba and in parts of Terekeke and Mangalla of Central Equatoria, access to these natural food sources continues to be limited by insecurity.
“Based on satellite-derived estimates, rainfall during the June to September season has been normal to above normal to date. Exceptions include localized areas of Raja of Western Bahr el Ghazal, Ezo and Mundri East of Western Equatoria, and Terekeke of Central Equatoria, where rainfall is below normal. According to an Initial Rapid Needs Assessment conducted by humanitarian partners, flash flooding displaced more than 3,000 households and destroyed crop fields in Aweil Centre, North, and West of Northern Bahr el Ghazal. Around 2,000 affected households have received humanitarian food assistance and 2,140 children and 910 mothers received nutritional supplements. In Jonglei, flash floods affected more than 6,500 households in Bor South, Duk, Twic East, Pochalla, and Ayod, destroyed crops, and significantly reduced trade flows from Bor South to these counties. Flood risk is expected to remain high through early September,” the outlook says.
On the forecast for food security for South Sudan through January 2020, the outlook is optimistic and says food security outcomes are expected to be similar or slightly better than the same period last year due to some improvements in trade flows, expected slightly higher crop production, and improved household movement.