Juba, - South Sudan's President Salva Kiir vowed that the government would ensure that aid reaches areas hit by famine after three years of war that has restricted access for humanitarian workers.
On Monday, South Sudan declared famine in parts of the northern Greater Unity state, where 100 000 people were facing starvation and another one million were on the brink of famine. A total of nearly five million are going hungry.
"The government is aware of the failure of crops last year in the region and so steps are being taken to mitigate the potential famine in that area," Salva Kiir said in a televised address.
"Towards this end, the government will increase the supply of basic food commodities in the area with the provision for subsidised prices," he added.
Prolonged conflict in the country has prevented many farmers from harvesting their crops while hyperinflation which soared to over 800% in 2015, has made the price of imported food beyond the reach of many.
The UN announced on Monday that around 4.9 million people over 40% of South Sudan's population are in need of urgent food and nutrition, while 5.5 million others are expected to be severely food insecure and at risk of death in the coming months.
The government admits that the cause of the famine was principally as a result of the ongoing civil war which led to an entrenched economic crisis that has devastated the country. It is estimated that nearly 100,000 people are facing starvation and more than a million others are on the brink of famine.
The world's youngest nation has been mired in conflict since 2013.
Source: Qatar News Agency