By: Natalie Sherwood, Sophmore, HC Tiger Times
A famine is extreme scarcity of food, and in this case, it’s very extreme. 4.9 million people in South Sudan are on the verge of death from starvation because a famine we could have stopped. “Our worst fears have been realized,” said Serge Tissot, U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization’s spokesman in South Sudan. “Many families have exhausted every means they have to survive.” The blame? The Sudanese civil war and the subsequent economic collapse. Because of the three year civil war, many results turned out violent. Government soldiers and militias operate ruthlessly. Including war crimes including murders, torture, forced cannibalism, and mass rape. “It is utterly abhorrent that women in this area have to choose between getting raped or getting a livelihood,” Gilmour said. “But this seems the brutal reality of what South Sudan has become.”
Many warnings were given about famines located in Yemen, Somalia and north-eastern Nigeria, but the first to actually declare one was South Sudan. A famine is declared when the measures of malnutrition, hunger, and mortality are met. George Fominyen says that this declaration has not been sudden. “Food insecurity, hunger, malnutrition has been getting steadily worse since the conflict started three years ago.” He also adds that the humanitarian groups found it extremely difficult to reach some hard-hit areas. Many cannot access it without prior agreement and even then they feel they do not have the resources. Drew said the famine was “a man-made tragedy” and called for an end to the fighting so aid could get through to those most in need.