from RAJI BASHIR in Khartoum, Sudan
KHARTOUM, (CAJ News) – SOUTH Sudan is enduring its worst hunger crisis since independence in 2011, as the world’s newest country.
Widespread flooding in recent months, combined with inter-communal conflict and soaring food prices are worsening the crisis.
A rising number of children at risk daily from malnutrition, disease and snakebites, Save the Children warned.
The agency urged the international community not to overlook South Sudan or to divert funding to other crises, with the United Nations estimating 8,9 million people, or 71 percent of the population, need humanitarian assistance.
This includes 1,4 million children under five suffering malnutrition.
The situation has deteriorated in recent months with more than 615 000 people impacted by an unprecedented fourth consecutive year of large-scale flooding.
This has destroyed homes, crops and leading to a spike in malaria and snakebites, particularly among women and children.
This has combined with thousands being displaced by ongoing conflict that has plagued the country since 2013 with slow progress implementing a 2018 peace agreement.
A melting economy has seen the currency fall by nearly 40 percent this year and food prices surge, exacerbated by higher import prices linked to the war in Ukraine.
Jib Rabiltossaporn, Save the Children’s South Sudan Director, said the country is now facing one of the worst food insecurity emergencies in the world.
“The first generation of South Sudan children is growing up now and we must not fail them by allowing South Sudan to become a forgotten crisis,” the official said.
Rabiltossaporn said when there were warnings of starvation in 2017 and famine was declared in parts of the country, the international community acted to avert a large-scale disaster.
“We must do that again and now.”
– CAJ News