Putting a human face to the rising risk of famine

Friday, November 12, 2021
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Agnes Juan Lokuri is a 50-year old widowed mother of six daughters living in Kajo Keji County in the southern part of South Sudan. Like most people living in the area, Agnes depends on growing food on small plots of land for her survival.

Historically, Kajo Keji County has great and untapped agriculture potential and is known for its favourable climatic conditions, higher rains and arable lands. But violent conflict has made life difficult for people like Agnes and her family.

“I’ve suffered throughout the political crisis since 2016. It hasn’t been easy for me and my household to access food. I had no money; markets have not been functioning. Movement alone was risky, especially for my young ones, who were being targeted by the warring political parties.”

Agnes is just one human face to a growing crisis.

There are 41 million people worldwide—more than the entire population of Canada—facing starvation levels of hunger with the risk of death in 2021.

While the global pandemic increased humanitarian needs across the world, the devastation of the pandemic is overshadowed by the growing threat of imminent famine in 12 countries, including South Sudan. As one part of our response to the crisis, the Foodgrains Bank and several members, with funding from the Government of Canada, is responding through a program helping over 89,000 people in Pakistan and six African countries avoid short-term food crisis due to famine, while providing a strong foundation for building resilience and setting families up to move out of poverty in the long-term.

For Agnes, this means not only emergency food, but also a seed kit and tools, so her family can sustain themselves beyond the emergency food relief. She’s grateful for the support.

“The food that I received in the first round of distribution has kept me eating up to now and with the second ration that I have recently received, I believe it will take me up to the next round of distribution.”

Written by Amanda Thorsteinsson, Senior Communications Officer.

This story was featured in the Fall 2021 Breaking Bread. Download or order your copy here.

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