Over 30,000 South Sudanese risk death by starvation, UN says
Thursday October 22 2015
Children race to the drop zone to gather any food or seeds that were spilled during an air drop in Leer, South Sudan, on July 5, 2014. PHOTO | FILE
Those worst affected are in the northern battleground state of Unity, once the country's key oil producing region, but now scene of some of the heaviest fighting, including the mass abduction and rape of women and children.
While large parts of South Sudan's Unity and Upper Nile regions were already classified as being just one step short of famine, termed "Emergency" or "phase four", areas in Unity have been declared to be in "phase five" for the first time. Level five is classified as "Catastrophe", and when stretched to 20 per cent of the population, becomes famine.
A year ago famine was averted only after a huge intervention by aid agencies.