South Sudan is no longer classified as being in famine, although 45,000 people in Jonglei and Unity states are expected to remain in famine-like conditions and the situation is still very critical.
The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report, released on Wednesday, was based on a survey by a working group including government and UN officials.
The report said that an estimated six million people, half the population, are expected to be severely food insecure in June and July.
On Febebruary 20, three UN agencies declared famine in parts of South Sudan.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the UN children’s fund UNICEF and the World Food Programme (WFP) said no fewer than 100,000 people are facing starvation in parts of violence-plagued South Sudan.
UNICEF said that more than one million children are estimated to be acutely malnourished across South Sudan, including more than 250,000 who are severely malnourished.
The UN agencies said that tree years of conflict have undermined crop production across the country.
The agencies also said that soaring inflation, up to 800 per cent year-on-year, and market failure have hit areas that traditionally rely on markets to meet food needs.
Peace talks between the government and the rebels, as well as the formation of a unity government in April 2016, did not stop the fighting.
The agencies described the situation as the worst hunger catastrophe since the beginning of the conflict.
The agencies said an additional one million are on the brink of famine in several parts of the country, where farming has been hampered since a military conflict erupted between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy, Riek Machar, in December 2013.
Tens of thousands have been killed and 3.4 million displaced, including more than 1.5 million who fled abroad.
Also, according to the IPC update released by the government, a total of 4.9 million people, more than 40 per cent of South Sudan’s population are currently in need of urgent food and agriculture assistance.
IPC also that the number of food insecure people are expected to rise to 5.5 million at the height of the lean season in July. (NAN)