South Sudan: Oxfam calls for urgent aid to avert famine

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Oxfam says urgent action is needed to prevent millions of people in South Sudan from being hit by famine.

On Tuesday, the charity called in the international community to intervene before famine is formally declared in the country, warning it could be too late by this stage. According to Nicolo Di Marzo, Oxfam’s acting Country Director in South Sudan, people are already dying of hunger as South Sudan’s civil conflict rages on.

Millions at risk of famine in South Sudan

“Waiting for a formal declaration of famine is not good enough,” Nicolo Di Marzo said in a statement on Tuesday. “People are already starving and desperate. A woman in Pibor said that her family has resorted to cooking grasses and weeds that are making them sick — but that they have no choice if they want to survive.”

“This is not an isolated problem. Urgent action is needed now to save lives in Pibor and across South Sudan,” he added.

South Sudan has grappled with food shortages throughout its civil war, which now enters its fifth year. In 2017, the world’s youngest nation was classified as being in famine but this status was later lifted. Charities warn that South Sudan’s situation hasn’t improved simply because it’s no longer classified as being in famine with millions of people in the conflict-ridden country struggling to survive.

Featured image: By Steve Evans – Flickr: South Sudan 009, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15877644

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.