A famine has been declared in parts of South Sudan, the first to be announced in any part of the world in six years. The government and the United Nations report that some 100,000 people are facing starvation, with a million more on the brink of famine.
A combination of civil war and an economic collapse have been blamed. There have been warnings of famine in Yemen, Somalia and north-eastern Nigeria, but South Sudan is the first to declare one.
Watch the video and answer the questions below.
1. What are some of the symptoms of malnourishment in children?
2. How many people live in Unity State?
3. What is the real tragedy of the situation?
4. How long has the fighting been going on in the country?
5. How many people have been forced out of their homes by the fighting?
6. How many people have left the country?
7. How many people have escaped to Uganda in six months?
When famine hits, the smallest suffer. In a hospital ward in the capital city, children are severely malnourished. A distended belly and a painful skin condition are obvious symptoms of hunger.
Malnutrition is really bad, because it has increased here for some years, but this year, it has really increased. The rate it has increased.
This is Unity State, where 100,000 people are now feeling the effects of famine. Some aid has been delivered to this worst affected region, but people are dying of starvation every day. Civil war means many are out of reach, and aren’t getting this type of help.
The real tragedy is that this is largely man-made. We do have famine and food insecurity, and it has
worsened in many parts of this country, largely because of this unfortunate conflict. It’s really because of the fighting, it’s also because of access challenges that humanitarians have indeed had in parts of this
A clash between former Vice President, Riek Machar, and President, Salva Kiir, in the hat, sparked civil War. For more than three years, there’s been fighting across the country, largely along ethnic lines. Last year, a peace deal dramatically collapsed, bringing violence to a wider area. Economic crisis and hyperinflation has priced food beyond the reach of most.
Well over 3 million people have been forced from their homes by the fighting. Hundreds of thousands of them are in camps set up by the United Nations across the country for their own protection. 1.5 million have fled to neighbouring countries, creating one of the worst refugees crises in the world.
Towns like this have emptied as the violence has spread to the food growing south of the country. In just six
months, 450,000 people have fled to Uganda. Thousands still cross the border every day, and describe atrocities, rape and murder, by soldiers from both sides along ethnic lines. The UN has warned of the potential for genocide, and now a deepening famine, unless the war is stopped.
1 a distended belly and a painful skin condition
3 it is man-made
4 for more than three years
5 over three million
6 1.5 million