South Sudan Toils in the Face of Extreme Famine

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Hunger – the most basic of humanly needs. Yet, hundreds of people are exposed to days of scavenging for even a mouthful, to quiet their aching bellies. This hunger has become a part of their being, akin to breathing and toiling in the sweltering heat. Such is the case of South Sudan, a country in Africa that has been suffering from rampant famine. Civil wars in the area have greatly impacted the living circumstances of people. Fights that took root in the year 2013 show no signs of subsiding, thereby, compelling the residents to roam in search of shelter. They are constantly being uprooted from their place of residence, because of the violence that ensues. And as such, are losing out on the ability to grow grains for themselves or for the purpose of sale.

Having become independent from North Sudan in 2011, the escalating instability in Sudan is a concern at a global level. The rebel groups and clashing communities are accountable for the disturbances in the region. In the early 2015, several areas were predicted to suffer from famine; however, Sudan wasn’t one of them due to its good agricultural situation. Matters took a turn for the worse when food prices catapulted and people began to flee, by mid 2015. Soon after, the lands were hit by drought, which affected the crop, cattle and war.

Now, around five million people, which makes for half of the South Sudanese population, suffers from food shortage. International help groups and communities are lending support in whichever way possible. To abet the rising issue, the European Union and UK have sanctioned several million pounds, which would assist in doing away with the food shortage and providing basic meals to the victims. They also require good drinking water and hygienic toilets.

Hunger South Sudan 2In the words of General Justin Forsyth, Deputy Executive Director of the UN Children’s Fund, “Nobody should be dying of starvation in 2017. There is enough food in the world, we have enough capability in terms of the humanitarian community. In South Sudan, UNICEF has 620 feeding centres for severely malnourished children, so the places where children are dying are places we can’t get to, or get to only occasionally. If there was access, we could save all of these children’s lives.” All of this is a beacon that attempts to uplift the conditions of people in Sudan. But what is to be made of the growing refugee situation and continual wars that are displacing people? Wars require a more unanimous effort on the part of individuals. Only a change in mentality would help mitigate the occasion for wars.

People living on remote islands in Sudan are further cut off from the rest of the world. Even though time is of the essence, providing help to them is a long drawn out process. The government forces have left no leaf unturned, as they jeopardize the well being of their citizens.

From seizing possessions, harming civilians to blocking food assistance – the actions of those who are meant to lead and protect the country are simply abhorrent. It is astonishing to see how a country that was endowed with great riches is now barely able to contain its inhabitants, for dearth of habitable environment. Stringent measures must be taken at the earliest, lest the famine submerges the entire nation.

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