Middle East

Famine-hit South Sudan sharply raises foreigners' work fees

In this photo taken Wednesday, March 1, 2017, Lulu Yurdio, 12, collects food aid for himself and his two siblings and parents who remain hiding in the bush, in Padeah, South Sudan. South Sudanese who fled famine and fighting in Leer county emerged from South Sudan's swamps after months in hiding to receive food aid being distributed by the World Food Program. (AP Photo/Sam Mednick)

In this photo taken Wednesday, March 1, 2017, Lulu Yurdio, 12, collects food aid for himself and his two siblings and parents who remain hiding in the bush, in Padeah, South Sudan. South Sudanese who fled famine and fighting in Leer county emerged from South Sudan's swamps after months in hiding to receive food aid being distributed by the World Food Program. (AP Photo/Sam Mednick)  (The Associated Press)

South Sudan has sharply increased the cost required for foreigners to work in the country — from roughly $100 to up to $10,000 — just days after famine was declared there.

The Ministry of Labor raised work permit fees to anywhere from $10,000 to $1,000 depending on skill level, according to a memorandum dated Thursday.

Minister of Information Michael Makuei tells The Associated Press that the fee hikes apply only to foreigners and are aimed at increasing government revenue.

South Sudan's government and the United Nations late last month declared a famine in two counties, saying about 100,000 people are at risk.

The U.N. secretary-general and others have accused South Sudan's government of restricting humanitarian access in a country that has been devastated by three years of civil war.