South Sudan Marks Anniversary With Hunger Still a Pressing Issue

MALAKAL AND UPPER NILE, SOUTH SUDAN - Eight years after South Sudan's independence, hunger continues to plague the world's youngest nation. A recent United Nations report shows nearly half the population � 6.1 million people � are facing some degree of food insecurity.

Climate problems, economic instability, and pockets of continuing conflict in South Sudan have driven millions of refugees to neighboring countries. Others seek food and safety at U.N. Protection of Civilians sites or POCs, inside the country.

Thomson Phiri is the World Food Program's communications manager in South Sudan.

South Sudan is one of the most complex programs globally for the World Food Program, because 60 percent of the area is inaccessible by road, during the rainy season. and ironically, the rainy season, coincides with the peak hunger season in South Sudan, when people struggle to put food on their tables, said Phiri.

Hungry people mean business is urgent at a food distribution center the U.N. POC in Malakal, South Sudan as WFP staff distribute monthly food rations to some of the internally displaced people who live here.

Before the 2013 war, things were good outside there."

Source: Voice of America