Nearly half the population of South Sudan is malnourished due to the severe famine affecting the region, a recent UN report revealed.
The famine, reported to have been caused by the lack of rainfall and the civil war that now affects a considerable number of communities, has reached worrying proportions as food prices are soaring.
The areas affected are important agricultural communities leaving the population starved and trapped in the region without any alternative food source.
Logistical problems sometimes occur and food distribution can take months to arrive.
“We survive by eating leaves from trees and wild fruits, but they make us sick with both adults and children getting diarrhea. The leaves are not good and children suffer malnutrition. We also have neither medicine nor a hospital,” Nyakier Nguak, a grandmother living in Padinger said.
According to humanitarian organizations who sounded the alarm, only better planning for the delivery of food may help to avoid the worst.
“Logistical problems sometimes occur and food distribution can take months to arrive. For now, these families depend on this food. When food is not given to them, they will again look for food from trees to survive,” Edema Luke Wilson, Director of Oxfam in South Sudan said.
The World Food Programme estimates that 5.8 million people or half of the South Sudanese population suffer from malnutrition with children being the most affected.
The cereal deficit in the country is estimated at 381,000 tonnes.