But the violence is what is fueling the famine.
“Millions are going hungry today — and we are seeing evidence of extremely high levels of malnutrition among hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the conflict — especially women and children,” he said.
South Sudan saw massive violence sweep the country in December, when fighting broke out between troops loyal to former vice president Riek Machar and those loyal to President Salva Kiir. Thousands of people are believed to have been killed, and more than 1 million have fled their homes.
International aid officials have increasingly invoked the word “famine” to describe what South Sudan could face in coming months. The country is extremely poor and most residents survive only on the crops they plant and harvest. Because of the fighting, many residents are not able to plant crops ahead of the coming rainy season.
“Without immediate action, up to a million people could face famine in a matter of months,” Ban said in what appeared to be his first warning of possible famine in the country.
"Our message is clear," Ban said. "We need an end to the fighting and a political solution to a conflict which has already taken a heavy toll on civilians; we need the resources to continue providing life-saving assistance and livelihood support; and all parties to the conflict must respect the rights of the people of South Sudan and abide by international humanitarian law."
So, they will have to attempt to perform these humanitarian operations right where the fighting and political unrest is occurring. Doesn’t sound as simple as saying the UN has said the famine can be prevented. A lot of other factors.