For the first time anywhere in the world since 2011 the United Nations has declared a country to be in a state of famine, this time in the north-eastern African country of South Sudan. To be declared a famine 20% of the population must face extreme food shortages, with 30% of people experiencing acute malnutrition and at least 2 people per 10 000 dying of malnutrition everyday.
Three years of civil war, a failed peace agreement and a severe drought has lead to economic collapse with inflation dramatically increasing to 800%. With families fleeing violence and farming disrupted by unrest and drought, parents are unable to afford even basic food stables. Young children and women have been the hardest hit with over 1 million children becoming acutely malnourished. Additionally, 250 000 people already have severe acute malnutrition, these are people on the brink of starvation. Another five million South Sudanese people are expected to become food insecure by April.
Where can I find more information/What can I do to help?
Unicef Australia are running an appeal to provide therapeutic food and emergency medical care, donations can be made here http://www.unicef.org.au/appeals/south-sudan-children-s-food-crisis
- A good general overview of the situation can be found on the ABC news website: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-21/famine-is-declared-in-war-torn-south-sudan/8290950
- Medecins sans frontiers/doctors withouth borders released an article on the root of the crisis to be found here: http://www.msf.org.au/article/project-news/south-sudan-protracted-conflict-root-nutrition-crisis
- Description on the hardships of providing aid in such circumstances and background information can be found here: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/02/20/dying-hunger-famine-declared-south-sudan