South Sudan close to famine, facing “toughest year”
Food and Nutrition

South Sudan close to famine, facing “toughest year”

Join

Join the fight against extreme poverty

By Denis Dumo

South Sudan is close to another famine, aid officials said on Monday, after more than four years of civil war and failed ceasefires in the world’s youngest nation.

Almost two-thirds of the population will need food aid this year to stave off starvation and malnutrition as aid groups prepare for the “toughest year on record”, members of a working group including South Sudanese and U.N. officials said.

Embed from Getty Images

“The situation is extremely fragile, and we are close to seeing another famine. The projections are stark. If we ignore them, we’ll be faced with a growing tragedy,” said Serge Tissot, from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization in South Sudan.

A total of 5.3 million people, 48 percent of the population, are already in “crisis” or “emergency” – stages three and four on a five-point scale, according to a survey published by the working group.

A woman waits at a temporary food distribution site in Leer, South Sudan. (Photo credit: Robert Oxley/DFID)

A woman waits at a temporary food distribution site in Leer, South Sudan. (Photo credit: Robert Oxley/DFID)

The oil-rich east African nation has been torn apart by an ethnically charged civil war since late 2013, when troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and then-Vice President Riek Machar clashed.

Since then, more than 4 million people have been forced to flee their homes, creating Africa’s largest refugee crisis since the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

The U.N. declared a famine in two districts in February, but said that crisis had started to ease in June last year.

“We are expecting to face the toughest year on record,” U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator Alain Noudehou told a press conference in the South Sudanese capital Juba. Records for South Sudan began when it declared independence from Sudan in July, 2011.

Embed from Getty Images

(Additional reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Peter Graff and Andrew Heavens)

Join the fight against extreme poverty

By signing you agree to ONE’s privacy policy, including to the transfer of your information to ONE’s servers in the United States.

Do you want to stay informed about how you can help fight against extreme poverty?

Sign up to receive emails from ONE and join millions of people around the world taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease. We’ll only ever ask for your voice, not your money. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Privacy options
Are you sure? If you select 'Yes' we can let you know how you can make a difference. You can unsubscribe at any time.

By signing you agree to ONE's privacy policy, including to the transfer of your information to ONE.org's servers in the United States.

You agree to receive occasional updates about ONE’s campaigns. You can unsubscribe at any time.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply

Related Articles