Commenting on the results of Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) update released today by the government, UN agencies and NGOs which finds the two counties of Leer and Mayendit moving from famine (IPC level 5) to humanitarian crisis (IPC level 4), Sara Almer, Oxfam's country director in South Sudan, said:
"Thanks to aid efforts, famine has been pushed back in most of Leer and Mayendit, but 45,000 people in these areas and in former Jonglei State are still facing famine-like conditions. There is no room for complacency: the food crisis continues to spread across the country and six million people, half the population of South Sudan, are still facing severe hunger and need immediate help.
"More than one million people in former Jonglei State are living in extreme hunger, having gone for months without enough food to eat. Oxfam is distributing emergency food in affected areas in a race against time to prevent the situation getting even worse.
" Aid is helping, but South Sudan's hungriest people have run out of ways to cope and still depend on food aid to survive. The coming rainy season means that delivering help to people will be harder. With the rains also come higher risks of cholera and other water borne disease epidemics. And the rains occur at the hungriest time of the year just before this year's crops are harvested.
"While immediate help to fight hunger is still needed now, what the people of South Sudan ultimately need is peace. Along with sending aid the international community needs to redouble its efforts to bring all warring parties to the negotiating table and to peacefully end their differences."
For more information and interviews, contact Serena Tramonti on firstname.lastname@example.org / +44 (0)78257 80651
For updates, please follow @oxfamgbpress