Mercy Corps: Two Options for People in South Sudan — Starve or Flee

Every day, 9,000 people lose access to food

JUBA, South Sudan — The global organization Mercy Corps warns that every day, from now until April, an estimated 9,000 people in South Sudan will lose access to food. Fueled by the protracted conflict and subsequent massive displacement of people, the crisis is on the verge of catastrophic.

“We are horrified to witness the fast deterioration of the crisis in South Sudan,” says Francesco Lanino, Mercy Corps’ acting country director in South Sudan. “People are running out of time. They have only two options left: starve or flee.”

Earlier this week, the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations announced that one million people in South Sudan are facing acute food insecurity. This means that people are eating less, tens of thousands are experiencing very high malnutrition, and some are dying from lack of food. This new number represents a 40 percent increase in food insecurity compared to last year’s post-harvest season.

Mercy Corps is reaching more than 280,000 South Sudanese with food, water and hygiene supplies to meet their urgent needs, as well as supporting displaced people in restarting their livelihoods. However, more funds and better access are urgently required to save lives.

“The time for delay is over: the people of South Sudan cannot wait any longer. We need unfettered humanitarian access, and for institutional donors to re-commit to South Sudan,” says Lanino.

Since December 2013, almost four million South Sudanese have fled their homes, including more than two million to neighboring countries. In 2017 alone, nearly 700,000 South Sudanese became refugees.

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