UN warns Somalia and South Sudan in peril of famine

UN warns Somalia and South Sudan in peril of famine


Both Somalia and South Sudan are part of a group of countries that are in peril of famine. And in the case of South Sudan, famine has already been declared. So there’s a catastrophic food insecurity situation in both of these countries. And what I would say in terms of our overall impression of the response in Somalia is that the needs are moving very quickly. They are escalating. What the response is currently keeping pace with those needs. That does not mean that we need we should be complacent, but it does mean that we’ve got the right teams on the ground, doing an outstanding job, very innovative, very creative, very courageous. Then moving to South Sudan, well, this is a country where we have declared famine. So a hundred thousand people are already suffering from famine. In Maridi and and Unity Leer Counties, we have a hundred thousand people and with another million people very close to being declared as affected by famine. So this obviously gives us a huge impetus, because we have to again win that race against time for the million and get a huge aid effort to those that are already caught up. The face of this crisis is a woman with her child’s. In both countries we have over 200,000 pregnant women that are affected. And what we saw is that because of the impact of the drought, the men have stayed behind on the farms, waiting for the rains and to tent livestock. It is the women that have moved often for many days, walking with their children to seek relief. And it’s these women who, yes, there’s malnutrition, yes, there’s cholera, but in the context of this, there’s also great risk and risk for sexual violence and the protection concerns for this population cannot be underestimated.

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