Executive Director of WFP Ertharin Cousin, left, and Executive Director of UNICEF Anthony Lake, right, greet a health worker from International Medical Corps working in the clinic in an internally displaced persons camp inside the UN base in Malakal. Picture: Andreea Campeanu

United Nations, United States -

South Sudan's food crisis is now the worst in the world, the UN Security Council said on Friday as it called for urgent funding to step up deliveries of desperately-needed aid.

About 3.9 million people - a staggering one in three people throughout the country - are going hungry as the fighting in South Sudan continues, according to UN officials.

The Security Council described a “catastrophic food insecurity situation in South Sudan that is now the worst in the world” and said the country was on the threshold of a full-blown famine if fighting continues.

It called on countries that pledged 618 million dollars in aid for South Sudan at a conference in May to make good on their promises and to increase their commitment.

Fighting erupted in South Sudan in December, sparked by a power struggle between President Salva Kiir and his deputy Riek Machar.

The 15-member Council also condemned the latest round of fighting around the town of Nasir and reminded the warring sides that attacks against civilians may lead to war crimes prosecutions. - Sapa-AFP