The world’s youngest nation has been mired in civil war since 2013, when President Salva Kiir fired his deputy Riek Machar, sparking a conflict that has increasingly split the country along ethnic lines.
Despite the catastrophe, Juba will now charge $10,000 for foreigners working in a “professional” capacity, $2,000 for “blue collar” employees and $1,000 for “casual workers” from March 1, the labour ministry said in a decree.
Edmund Yakani, executive director of the local charity Community Empowerment for Progress Organizations (CEPO), said the move aimed to reduce the number of humanitarian workers.
Aid groups say they often face restrictions in South Sudan. In December, Juba expelled the country director of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) after security agents held him without charge for more than 24 hours.
The UN defines famine as a situation in which at least a fifth of the households in a region face extreme food shortages, acute malnutrition rates exceed 30 percent, and two or more people in every 10,000 are dying each day.
The fighting has uprooted more than 3 million people. Continuing displacement presents “heightened risks of prolonged (food) underproduction into 2018,” the UN said in a report last month.