South Sudan: famine pushed back but more people hungry than ever before

South Sudan: famine pushed back but more people hungry than ever before

Wednesday, June 21st 2017

Despite efforts made to contain famine in South Sudan, the country remains firmly in a humanitarian crisis, with 6 million people severely hungry and in need of urgent assistance – the greatest number of people ever recorded in the country – according to new figures released today.

Responding to the IPC (Integrated Food Security Phase Classification) figures, Oxfam Ireland’s Humanitarian Manager Colm Byrne 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 6 million people, half the population of South Sudan, are still facing severe hunger and need immediate help.

Mr Byrne, who will be travelling to South Sudan later this week, added: “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.”

Oxfam Ireland is appealing to the public to donate to its hunger crisis appeal and support people facing severe hunger in South Sudan as well as in Yemen, East Africa, and Nigeria:


For further information or to arrange an interview with Oxfam Ireland’s Colm Byrne, contact: Phillip Graham on 00 44 (0) 7841 102535 /


The IPC (Integrated Food Security Phase Classification) is a tool for improving food security analysis and decision-making. It is a standardised scale that integrates food security, nutrition and livelihood information into a clear statement about the nature and severity of food insecurity and implications for strategic response. The IPC was originally developed for use in Somalia by FAO’s Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU). Since then, several national governments and international agencies have introduced it in different food security contexts and is now being used in over 25 countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

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