MADRID, May 22nd. (By Dr. Mesfin Loha, Director of World Vision South Sudan) –
South Sudan is characterized by persistent and diverse fragility: politically, socially, economically and ecologically. Last year the COVID-19 pandemic
A previous bad situation made the situation much worse.
The country is facing alarming food insecurity, with the likelihood of further deterioration. By mid-2021, around 7.24 million people, 60 percent of the South Sudanese population, are expected to be affected by severe acute food insecurity and in urgent need of help.
Approximately 1.4 million children under the age of five are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2021, the highest number in three years. More than 300,000 (21%) of the 1.4 million malnourished children suffer from severe acute malnutrition.
According to the United Nations, South Sudan is one of four countries with famine, along with Yemen, Burkina Faso and northeastern Nigeria.
About 56% of the population in South Sudan do not have access to primary health services, and most health services are supported primarily through humanitarian aid. South Sudan has one of the highest under-five mortality rates (90.7 deaths per 1,000 live births) and maternal mortality (789 deaths per 100,000 live births).
The country was also badly hit by severe flooding for a second straight year, affecting more than a million people, of which more than 600,000 were displaced, and widespread loss of crops and livestock.
When organizations like World Vision try to support a country like South Sudan with development programs, we make sure to adhere to the principle of “avoiding harm”: do not allow families to suffer further harm. This is where it gets so bad that we and all humanitarian and development actors urgently need to focus on another principle: “Do more good”.
We need to ask ourselves what new things we need to do to do more good in this looming crisis. The usual is not enough, especially with the added challenge of COVID-19.
The desperate screams of people like Monica Nyanut, 35, the mother of
Five children and Adhel, 38, both from Tonj North County, South Sudan, urge us all to step up our efforts. These are real people, not just statistics. People do not cry out for themselves, but for their children who will die when we can no longer bring them food.
Simply put, things are getting better in South Sudan too slowly. What we are doing is not working fast enough. The vision
Overview of Humanitarian Needs (ENT) and Humanitarian Response Plans
(HRP) paint almost the same picture of the situation year after year, with HRP highlighting the need for humanitarian aid of more than $ 1.9 billion in 2020.
It seems like a lot of money, but when you consider the defense spending at the
World rose to $ 1.83 trillion in 2019, it is clear that the world can
Find money when you need it.
That is why we must all ask ourselves what we should do differently in order to receive more funds now for South Sudan in order to avoid malnutrition and ultimately famine. The answer is “whatever it takes”.
Things are really bad. The World Food Program (WFP) recently announced a “painful decision to take from the hungry to give to the hungry” to cut food rations for refugees and internally displaced persons in the country due to severe funding shortages.
We all need to think creatively about how to avoid being in it
Hunger crisis situation in the next year. Also how we can deal with other threats to child welfare. How can over two million children out of school and health care be educated for children who do not have access to quality health services and who are often traumatized? The abundance of life is not just food and water.
Today more than 250 organizations are warning of this impending crisis
Hunger all over the world, I appeal to my colleagues, partners, donors,
Governments and anyone who can help:
– Amplify calls to increase the pace, cheer on your colleagues and
Partners to act quickly.
– Expanding the response to critical humanitarian needs in South Sudan, with a focus on countries where high levels of insecurity have been identified
Food. With the rainy season approaching, time is of the essence.
– Make a commitment to move from the principle of “avoiding harm” to the principle of “doing more good”.
with positive and innovative measures that save lives.
– Ensure that food insecurity and hunger efforts include saving lives, restoring dignity and renewing
Hope and elevate people in need from mere beneficiaries to partners
trained to make a living.