Food is not a luxury. It is a right of every human being. And yet it is a right that is being denied the people of South Sudan.
On February 20th, the UN declared a state of famine in South Sudan. This is not a declaration made lightly. A famine has an official definition based on distressing rates of malnutrition and mortality. In South Sudan, this translates to 50,000 children facing imminent death through starvation and disease, with hundreds of thousands more suffering acute malnourishment.
Since April 2015, we have been working with local communities to stem the tide of the famine. Our programming in Eastern Equatoria and Western Bahr el Ghazal States is designed to empower farmers to better withstand the challenges of unpredictable climate and political instability. We achieve this through improved and diversified crop production, as well as building up sustainable and more appropriate seed stocks, so farmers are no longer reliant on imports and hand-outs. We are also improving post harvest technologies, such as food processing and seed storage, allowing for ever greater self-sufficiency. These improvements have enabled farmers to greatly increase their family income and contribute to more sustainable food security for their communities.
So far it has worked, but with no end to the conflict in sight and food shortages spreading across the country, the next few months will be critical.
“The situation will get a lot worse before we see signs of improvement.” George Otim, our Country Director told us. “We are committed to doubling our efforts to support our communities but we cannot do it alone. We need Canadians to stand with us as they always have in the past.”
Your miles will help War Child scale up it's response to the famine in South Sudan. Cash donations are also being accepted on War Child's website here.