Thursday, July 18, 2019 | ePaper

Global community must come forward to save South Sudan

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SOME seven million people in South Sudan would face acute food shortages, while more than 20,000 are close to famine, the World Food Programme warned on Friday. The warning, which follows years of violent unrest and vicious rights abuses linked to mass displacement, food shortages and disease outbreaks, coincides with the release of updated data on hunger levels in the country. "It is famine-like, but you cannot call it famine, because you can only call (it) famine if you have a certain number of criteria," said WFP spokesperson Hervé Verhoosel.
What's clear is that, condition of East African nation Sudan is inhumane. No one can suppress the fact that the nation is going through a famine-like situation. We think, it's not a proper time to fix the definition of famine or set up grammar before using the word famine for the hunger-stricken Sudanese people.  However, according to WFP's food insecurity report, an estimated 21,000 South Sudanese will likely face a "catastrophic lack of food access" by the end of July. More than 1.8 million are set to endure "emergency" food shortages, while five million are expected to be in "crisis". Compared to forecasts made in January, the updated hunger estimates reckon on another 81,000 people facing "a highly stressed and critical lack of food", particularly in Jonglei, Lakes and Unity states, WFP said.
Presently, South Sudan remains mired in conflict where hundreds of thousands are dead, and more than four million have been displaced. The same group of men continues to battle over a government devoid of legitimacy. South Sudan achieved independence from Sudan on 9 July 2011 as the outcome of a 2005 agreement that ended Africa's longest-running civil war. But the independence did not bring conflict in South Sudan to an end. Civil war broke out in 2013 when the President fell out with his then Vice President, leading to a conflict. A power-sharing agreement was signed between the warring parties in August 2018 in a bid to end the five-year civil war. But it didn't work at all.
We hope, the global community will immediately pay attention on the burning issue to save millions of innocent people from hunger and unnecessary sufferings.

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