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Famine declared in South Sudan

Juba (South Sudan), Feb 20: Famine has been declared in parts of South Sudan, where UN agencies warned on Monday that war and a collapsing economy have left 100,000 people facing starvation. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the Intertiol Children’s Fund (Unicef) and the World Food Programme (WFP) also called for urgent action as almost 5 million people urgently needed food, agricultural and nutrition assistance, Xinhua news agency reported.

The agencies said famine was currently affecting parts of Unity State in the northern-central part of the country, adding that a further 1 million people are classified as being on the brink of famine. “A formal famine declaration means people have already started dying of hunger. The situation is the worst hunger catastrophe since fighting erupted more than three years ago,” they said in a joint statement. FAO Representative in South Sudan Serge Tissot said the famine had become a tragic reality in parts of South Sudan. “Our worst fears have been realised. Many families have exhausted every means they have to survive,” Tissot said. (IANS)