JUBA, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- The World Food Programme (WFP) on Wednesday warned that this year's heavy flooding has destroyed harvest in the most affected parts of South Sudan, worsening the already dire food security situation caused by years of conflict.
Mathew Hollingworth, WFP country director, said that South Sudan is currently facing an additional crisis because of the flooding that took place this year, leaving nearly 800,000 people affected.
"The WFP clearly is responding to that flooding already at the moment. We have supported 600,000 people who were affected by this year's floods. Clearly, the impact of the flooding is not only immediate. It is going to have a lasting impact on many communities," Hollingworth told journalists in Juba.
He revealed that the unprecedented level of flooding is changing the way water systems in South Sudan work.
"We should have seen in many parts of the country particularly, those areas of the country that people were living on the Nile or the Sobat basin. In those areas people should have already harvested the food that would keep them healthy for the next five or six months to come but many of those communities have not been able to harvest anything thing this year," he said.
The UN agencies warned earlier this year that 6.5 million people, nearly half of the population, were expected to face severe food insecurity at the height of the May to July annual hunger season.
Hollingworth disclosed that the flooding will have a longer-term impact on communities, adding that they will continue supporting the displaced or communities that have lost their entire harvest.
"That all depends on our ability to have consistent access to those areas and there are areas of the country where sub-national conflict is hampering our ability to effectively and consistently provide support over the last months," he said.
WFP's boat convoy carrying food assistance en route to Melut and Malakal areas was attacked in October around Shambe North area, leaving one aid worker killed.
Hollingworth noted that armed attacks on humanitarian workers were hindering humanitarian access to those in need.
"Clearly there have been horrific murders of humanitarian workers that have taken place in the last few weeks which we are incredibly concerned about," he said.
The WFP official revealed that they have called on all parties to respect humanitarian workers wherever they are working in the country to enable them to do their work unhindered.
"There is an accumulation of shocks that communities have faced including this year's floods, COVID-19, an economic crisis that has in fact impacted COVID-19 as well. With all of these things happening at the same time, conflict and violence will stop us from being able to help people immediately," said Hollingworth. Enditem