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article imageSouth Sudan food crisis worsens as fighting and drought goes on

By Karen Graham     May 12, 2016 in World
Juba - On Wednesday, the U.N. World Food Program released video evidence highlighting the worsening food crisis in South Sudan, where 5.3 million people will be facing severe food shortages during the March through September "lean season."
The numbers represent nearly half the population of South Sudan, a country in economic collapse brought on by over two years of internal warfare, high food prices, and inadequate rainfall.
After South Sudan became an independent country in 2011, the fighting did not come to an end. From 2013 to 2015, over 2.2 million people were displaced after a civil war ensued when President Salva Kiir Mayardit sacked his entire cabinet, accusing Vice-President Riek Machar of instigating a failed coup.
The civil war and a famine did not treat the country well, resulting in ridiculously high prices for food that the majority of people couldn't afford even if they did have a little money. The country is one of the least developed states in Africa, with little liking for journalists and one, state-owned television station. Only 15 percent of the population own mobile phones.
The BBC says the fighting still going on is difficult to understand. There have been killings along ethnic lines, and the South Sudan army seems to have split into two groups. There have been two attempts at getting the sides to commit to a truce, but too much acrimony caused the ceasefires to fail.
South Sudan is now at the point where an accord is absolutely necessary if starvation of millions of people is to be avoided. From January to March this year, reports Reuters, some 2.8 million people were classed as being in "crisis" or "emergency" food situations, along with about 40,000 people suffering due to outright famine.
Of particular concern today is the worsening food situation in parts of the country that have not been affected by the fighting, and that includes Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Eastern Equatoria, and Warrap states. The "lean season" has started early for people in these areas. The UN agency says many of the people in these areas are fleeing to bordering countries, all of them citing hunger as the reason.
More about south sudan, facing starvation, continued fighting, lean season, Economic collapse
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