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South Sudan Facing Famine in 2015 Unless Violence Ceases: Oxfam

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Famine is a serious threat in 2015 for South Sudan, as more than 2 million people face grave food insecurity amid the country's ongoing conflict, aid agencies said in a joint briefing note published by international development charity Oxfam on Monday.

MOSCOW, October 6 (RIA Novosti) - Famine is a serious threat in 2015 for South Sudan, as more than 2 million people face grave food insecurity amid the country's ongoing conflict, aid agencies said in a joint briefing note published by international development charity Oxfam on Monday.

"More than two million people are facing severe food insecurity in South Sudan … As the dry season begins, the brutal conflict that provoked this disaster is about to get worse. Without an end to the fighting – and unless more aid can be delivered to those who need it – famine remains a serious threat in 2015," the note said.

"The scale of current suffering in South Sudan is vast; the malnutrition situation has been officially branded as 'dire,'" the note read. "The number of severely hungry people will rise by 1 million between January and March 2015."

According to the note, 1.7 million people – one in seven – have fled their homes, with more than 450,000 seeking asylum in other countries. In certain areas, one in three children is malnourished, a level generally observed during famine.

The aid agencies called on the country's conflicting parties to immediately end the violence, stop attacks and ensure that all parties guarantee the protection of humanitarian staff working in the region.

Violence erupted in South Sudan between the government and its opposition in December, when the country's president, Salva Kiir, accused his ex-deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup. Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the civil war.

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