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House of Lords written question – answered on 20th July 2011.

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Photo of The Earl of Sandwich The Earl of Sandwich Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the current food security situation in South Sudan and the extent to which those shortages have arisen from drought or conflict.

Photo of Baroness Verma Baroness Verma Lords Spokesperson (Home Office) (Equalities and Women's Issues), Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), Lords Spokesperson (Department for International Development)

According to the most recent survey by the World Food Programme (WFP), about 12 per cent of households were severely food insecure and 36 per cent could be assessed as moderately insecure. The rate of severe food insecurity is likely to have increased since the last survey mainly due to global and local food inflation: the latter partly caused by border closures with the Republic of Sudan as well as the impact of the influx of returnees and internal displacement caused by conflict.

The WFP reports that the current drought in the Horn of Africa will effect South Sudan in two ways. The pastoralist belt in Eastern Equatoria is part of the same livelihood zone as Northern Kenya and is therefore also affected by the drought; and the steep increase in the price of maize in Uganda is affecting South Sudan since Eastern Equatoria, Central Equatoria, Jonglei and Lakes States import key food commodities from Uganda, mostly maize grain and maize flour

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