South Sudan famine could spread to 'catastrophe'

2017-04-11 19:20
(AP)

(AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Aweil - Two months after the world's youngest nation declared a famine amid its civil war, hunger has become more widespread than expected, aid workers say.

South Sudan's Northern Bahr el Ghazal region is on the brink of starvation, with 290 000 people at risk of dying without sustained food assistance. Humanitarian workers say conditions will only deteriorate as the lean season approaches.

In February, South Sudan and the United Nations formally declared a famine in two counties in Unity State. Northern Bahr el Ghazal's five counties now face the same fate.

Harsh climate

"All five counties are sliding into catastrophe," said an aid worker. "If it wasn't for food assistance, this place would be at a level five famine".

Northern Bahr el Ghazal and its 1.4 million residents have remained relatively peaceful during South Sudan's three-year civil war. But due to soaring inflation fuelled by the conflict, harsh climate conditions and its remoteness, this region has become severely affected by hunger.

One by one, people stagger into aid group World Vision's food distribution compound. Some had hobbled through the bush on one good leg, while others had walked for hours with bloody feet under the sweltering sun. A steady stream of women with weak children strapped to their backs and babies attempting to nurse could be seen for kilometres.

Vulnerable people

World Vision last week rolled out the first phase of a programme to provide 65 000 people in Aweil East county with food during the month of April. The aim is to start with 17 000 of the most severely malnourished and vulnerable people.

Aid workers said they weren't prepared for the level of despair.

"I was shocked by the number of malnourished kids here," said the aid group's South Sudan communications manager, Rose Ogola. "And the looks of desperation on the mothers."


Read more on:    south sudan  |  east africa  |  famine

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.