Famine in South Sudan


James Kim, Staff Writer

Due to civil war and a poor economy, parts of South Sudan have officially been declared to be in a famine. Thousands of people have died and more people have fled the country. The country’s current conflict has caused a decline in agriculture, higher food prices, and a struggling economy. This is the first famine to be announced in any part of the world in 6 years. Other countries, such as Yemen, Somalia, and parts of Nigeria, are close to reaching a famine as well, as all of these countries combined to have 20 million starvation deaths in the past 6 months. According to several aid agencies such as UNICEF, around 4.9 million people (more than 40%) of South Sudan’s population are in need of food.

South Sudan has experienced this before. Bahr El Ghazal had been in a famine in 1998 during their fight for independence from Sudan. This was caused by the abuse of human rights, drought, and war. In this region, over 70,000 people died.

A country is considered to be in a famine when it meets certain specifications. First, 20% of all households are faced with food shortages. Also, acute malnutrition rates exceed 30%. Lastly, the death rate exceeds 2 people every day for every 10,000 people.

Photo: The Guardian