Following years of civil war and severe drought, Sudan, the largest country in Africa, is suffering from extreme famine.
According to Blackvoices.com, the entire population is on the verge of severe starvation and the children are most affected. Many children in the country have exposed ribs, distended bellies and extremely thin legs that barely offer support to walk.
The number of southern Sudanese people who are in dire need of food assistance has quadrupled, from 1 million in 2009 to a staggering 4.3 million this year. According to U.N. Experts, the situation will only get worse as the harvest season will not occur until fall. That harvest is dependent on rainfall, which might not come at all.
Save the Children and Medair have scoured the country for the hungriest children, setting up therapeutic-feeding programs.
“We are only just entering the start of the hunger gap, so we would expect nutrition levels to worsen in coming months,” Kate Foster, director of program development for Save the Children in Southern Sudan told Blackvoices.com
The community of Akobo is experiencing the highest rate of starvation. The region has also been the site of severe tribal warfare, leading to the displacement of almost 400,000 people. Crop failures have also been prevalent in the area due to the lack of rainfall.
Humanitarian organizations like Medair and the World Food Programme will continue to distribute food to families in need, while International Medical Corps will provide care for severely malnourished children.
“The need to act is so strong that we must take immediate action on behalf of these children,” Jeri Westad, county director for Medair told Blackvoices.com. “It’s not too late for us to make a major life-saving impact.