Tag Archives: famine

starvation in South Sudan

Thousands are at risk of starvation in South Sudan because of war. The UN is demanding immediate access for humanitarian aid.
Thousands are at risk of starvation in South Sudan because of war. The UN is demanding immediate access for humanitarian aid.
WFP/George Fominyen
The article reprinted below is by William Lambers for the Global Hunger Examiner. It is unedited.

Civilians face starvation in South Sudan, UN demands access

a prayer for hungry mothers

Gracious God and glorious Creator, as we celebrate Mother’s Day and give thanks for the love and care provided by our mothers, we recognize that your love and your care sustains all of us, and even this planet we call home. We give you thanks for your presence in our lives and we thank you for all we have received from our mothers.

Yet, Lord, we know that even as we honor our mothers, there are millions of mothers who are not so blessed. Help us remember those mothers around the world this morning who face hardships and dangers we cannot begin to imagine. Be with mothers everywhere to lighten their burdens, provide relief from their worries and grant them rest from their unceasing labor.

We pray especially for all those impoverished mothers around the world who are stalked by the shadow of hunger of hunger, those mothers who live in constant fear of famine and must fight every day just to provide enough nourishment to keep their children alive. The love those mothers feel for their children is no less than the love our mothers had and have for us.

Be with hungry mothers and hungry children everywhere this morning. Help us honor them as we honor our own mothers. Let them feel your love, and let them be fed.  Amen.

South Sudan at the breaking point

This piece by William Lambers is the latest story on the unfolding famine threat in South Sudan. Stop Hunger Now is urging all it’s friends and supporters to help raise awareness of this unfolding tragedy, and to support the relief efforts though the charity of your choice. Three million of our family at risk of starvation is simply not acceptable.

Oxfam warns about South Sudan crisis

The charity Oxfam is warning that South Sudan has reached a breaking point as conflict and a collapsed economy take their toll. A severe hunger crisis could threaten over 3 million people by June.

The war between the government and opposition forces has led to major food shortages. The already impoverished nation has been plunged deeper into despair.

Families are becoming increasingly desperate. Without a peace deal, things are likely to get worse. Emma Drew, Head of Humanitarian Programs for Oxfam in South Sudan, says,

What we’re seeing now is families that have spent the past year and a half living on the edge – many have exhausted their food stocks, been displaced from their homes, missed opportunities to plant and farm, and now the economy is showing the strain of a year and a half of conflict.”

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has been leading the hunger response. The relief mission is one of the most dangerous in the world with the ongoing violence and lack of security. WFP reports three of its aid workers in South Sudan are missing. The three staff members were traveling to a food distribution on April 1st, but WFP has not been able to contact them since.

WFP has to move food around a conflict-torn country with poor roads. Airlifts are used to bring food to some areas. This is difficult and costly. The mission for South Sudan is already low on funding.

Oxfam is urging governments to step up funding for South Sudan. Most of all a peace deal must be achieved. The violence must stop and humanitarian workers must be allowed safe access. Until this happens, hunger will continue to escalate, leaving South Sudan at risk of famine.

severe hunger in South Sudan

Millions in South Sudan are at risk. This article reprinted here  from the Gurtong Trust tells the story. Stop Hunger Now continues it’s efforts in the village of Old Fangak in Jonglei State.

South Sudan Families Being Pushed To The Brink

Skyrocketing inflation, conflict and collapsed markets are pushing people in South Sudan to breaking point as the political deadlock enters its 16th month and families face a second lean season since fighting began, international agency Oxfam warned on Tuesday in a statement.

22 April 2015

By Jacob Achiek

JUBA, April 22, 2015 [Gurtong] – “What we are seeing now is families that have spent the past year and a half living on the edge many have exhausted their food stocks, been displaced from their homes, missed opportunities to plant and farm, and now the economy is showing the strain of a year and a half of conflict,” said Emma Drew, Head of Humanitarian Programmes for Oxfam in South Sudan.

Areas affected by the conflict are seeing drastic increases in food prices. In February, cereal prices were estimated to have shot up by 300% in Unity, Upper Nile, and Jonglei states.

The South Sudanese pound is also depreciating rapidly – while the official rate remains at 3.2 pounds to the US dollar, parallel market rates are as high as 7 pounds to the dollar which is fluctuating on a regular basis. This is increasing the cost of regional food imports and putting pressure on already stretched household budgets.

“Many people can no longer afford to buy food and other basic essentials; trade in markets has been disrupted, or in many instances, markets have been damaged or destroyed altogether,” said Ms. Drew.

Already, 2.5 million people are facing severe levels of hunger. By June, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) predicts that more than a million people will join them.
“As the rains set in, reaching people who are desperately in need of aid will become more and more difficult. It’s vital that aid reaches people not just in the camps on UN bases but the millions in need spread out across the country, especially in conflict affected states,” Ms. Drew said.

“It’s hard to describe just how difficult it is to provide humanitarian assistance here. Insecurity due to protracted fighting and poor roads mean that in many places agencies have to fly absolutely everything in, often to airstrips that are easily bogged down by mud and rain – so getting food and essential items in before the rains start is an urgent priority.”

Flexible funding remains key, especially in light of the need to adapt to the changing humanitarian context. In addition to the urgent food aid that will be needed to save lives, donors should also support programmes that develop people’s skills and resilience, and that build on or re-establish markets wherever possible.

While the UN appeal for aid in South Sudan has been over half funded, donors must swiftly deliver on the existing commitments. Regional and international governments should use their influence on the government of South Sudan and the opposition to ensure communities can access aid where they are.

“Aid is important and lifesaving but ultimately what people need most is an end to the conflict. A real, lasting peace that delivers genuine security and stability will require far more than a power sharing deal between political and military elites,” added Ms. Drew.

Regional leaders and the international community have an important role in helping communities and the country’s leaders to achieve a lasting peace. Complacency is not an option.

only when food is plentiful

I eat what I eat. Don’t make eating complicated. Rules are made only when food is plentiful; in times of famine, one eats what one can get. — Hari Dass

Most of us cannot even conceive of a time when food isn’t plentiful. We are among the blessed of the global family who have always had plentiful food. We are the well-fed minority.

The vast majority of the world knows from painful, and all to often deadly, experience that there are times when food is anything but plentiful. Sometimes food is so scarce that you are forced to watch loved ones suffer a slow and agonizing decline from lack of food. In many parts of the world there is actually a “Hunger Season,” the time before harvest when food is so scarce that prices for basic sustenance climb so high that most cannot afford the luxury of more than a simple meal once a day, if that.

But when food is plentiful we play with it. We get creative with it. We take it for granted. We waste it.

When food is plentiful we become picky eaters. We have so many food choices we continually search for new and more exotic varieties and combinations. We now have an entire entertainment industry focused on food. That can only happen when food is plentiful.

There are many of us that now live to eat rather than eat to live. That can happen only when food is plentiful.

When food is plentiful we could end hunger forever. We could share with those sit in the shadow of famine and create a word where food is available to all.

We can change the world forever by ending hunger in our lifetime. That can happen only when food is plentiful.