The ongoing food crisis, rampant child hunger and sexual assault permeates the lives of the innocent in South Sudan’s ongoing civil war. Well over a month ago, UNICEF, World Food Programme, and the Food & Agriculture Organization warned of a hunger catastrophe for over a third of the population caused by conflict and an unusually long and harsh lean season. (See: “UN Agencies: South Sudan at Risk of ‘Hunger Catastrophe’ “) Foremost at risk are the children, 100,000 treated just since the start of 2016 for severe malnutrition.
A month later, close to South Sudan’s fifth year of independence in July, rival factional fighting erupted increasing displacement, food shortages, and sexual assault/rape for women in and outside of UN camps faced with the choice of food for their children or rape. According to UNICEF, one quarter of a million children are at risk of severe malnutrition. The level of displacement is unprecedented with sanitation, medical supplies, food and water deliveries, and education disrupted — South Sudan now has the highest out-of-school rate in the world. Sexual assault and rape are used as weapons of war. UNHCR chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein reported 217 cases of rape last month in and around Juba. (See: “South Sudan: UNICEF Sounds Alarm on ‘Catastrophic’ Food Security in Country”)
The rescue plea continues for these displaced worthy human beings.
By, Susan Sacirbey @DiplomaticallyX
For more stories, see: “Food for Thought on #WorldFoodDay”