Responding to the news, Daniel Muchena, country director of Plan International South Sudan, said:
“While there's every reason to celebrate humanitarian efforts that have led to a reduction in the number of people living in famine conditions in South Sudan, the country is not out of the woods yet.
The country more than ever needs the support of the international community to help bring an end to this crisis and save millions of lives.
“Famine is a technical term based on several criteria* measured by a UN specialist unit called the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification. It means, for example, that more than 30% of children under 5 are suffering from malnutrition in a given area.
“The fact that these criteria no longer apply in parts of Unity State does not mean that people are no longer undergoing an extreme hunger crisis or that children are no longer suffering from malnutrition.
“Sadly, the truth is the opposite: 6 million people are now suffering from extreme food insecurity, up from 4.9 million in February. Around 45,000 people in Jonglei and Yei states are facing catastrophic conditions.
“Many of these are women and children who are already facing the most severe consequences of the crisis: the triple tragedy of conflict, economic collapse and hunger.
“At Plan International, our biggest fear is that the lean season which comes in July will see millions of children pushed off the hunger cliff.
“Conflict remains the root cause of this crisis, and until that is adequately addressed, and humanitarian organisations are given safe access to all parts of the country, the future for South Sudan’s children remain a cause for the gravest concern.
“The country more than ever needs the support of the international community to help bring an end to this crisis and save millions of lives.”
Plan International is providing emergency food distributions and nutrition support in Jonglei state, which is one of the worst-affected areas.
Donate to the East Africa Food Crisis Appeal.