Record number of South Sudanese face critical lack of food

PRAGUE (AP) — A record number of people in South Sudan face a critical lack of food. A new report by the government and the United Nations says almost seven million people, or more than 60% of the population, are at risk.

The report released Friday says almost two million people are near starvation nine months after a peace deal ended a five-year civil war. The report stops short of declaring a famine.

The deteriorating situation is attributed to food shortages exacerbated by delayed rainfall, South Sudan's economic crisis and years of strain from a conflict that killed almost 400,000 people.

The World Food Program country director in South Sudan says the crisis coincides with the current rainy season. WFP says it has positioned 173,000 metric tons of food across the country.