Famine ‘a tragic reality’ in South Sudan, According to UN

Monday, February 27, 2017

Famine has been declared in parts of South Sudan, where about 100,000 people are facing starvation, says a United Nations release dated February 20.

In addition, a further one million people are on the brink of famine.

The ongoing civil war in South Sudan, now in its third year, has devastated the country’s economy, disrupting normal food transportation chains, and preventing countless small-scale farming households from growing their crops and tending their herds.

This is the most serious hunger crisis there has been in South Sudan since the conflict began. The UN news release notes that 4.9 million people—or about 40 percent of South Sudan’s population, are in need of urgent food, agriculture, and nutrition assistance.

“We are deeply troubled by what we are seeing in South Sudan, and responding as we are able,” says Canadian Foodgrains Bank Executive Director Jim Cornelius.

“That the food crisis has led to famine conditions for so many is devastating,” he says.

Since the beginning of the recent civil conflict in December 2013, the Foodgrains Bank has committed over $6 million dollars to providing emergency food and nutrition assistance to over 114,000 people.

Currently, the Foodgrains Bank is providing emergency food assistance to conflict-affected people in and around the capital city of Juba, where many people have sought safety. That response is through Foodgrains Bank member World Relief Canada.

In neighboring Uganda, where roughly 700,000 South Sudanese have fled in search of safety, the Foodgrains Bank is responding through its member ERDO to the needs of 2,500 pregnant and nursing mothers who have arrived in the country severely undernourished.

This type of support is exceptionally critical, as children who do not receive proper nutrition while in the womb or as infants can bear the effects for the rest of their lives, long after the initial crisis has long passed.

“The women, men and children in South Sudan are not forgotten, and they need urgent help,” says Cornelius, noting that further immediate assistance is needed to ensure the famine does not spread.

“Please consider making a donation, and also praying for peace in South Sudan.”

Donations to the Foodgrains Bank response through its members in South Sudan are greatly appreciated.