Flooding in South Sudan: 700,000 people in hunger and livelihood crisis
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Unprecedented flooding in South Sudan has devastated the lives of around 700,000 people, causing a hunger crisis amid the destruction of jobs and harvests, VOA News reports. The World Food Program (WFP) has sounded the alarm about a disaster that is exacerbated by ongoing violence and the COVID-19 economic crisis in the country. WFP is calling for $58 million for the next six months to rebuild South Sudanese infrastructure and to support those in need.
According to WFP, almost half of South Sudan is submerged. Entire villages, homes, and farmlands in 36 counties are underwater, the Christian Post reports. As homes have been submerged, some 85,000 people have been displaced; trade routes have been damaged and livestock killed. The Jonglei state has been especially badly affected: a third of the 700,000 flood victims live there, WFP said.
In a statement, WFP South Sudan Director Matthew Hollingworth said: “This flooding crisis is coming on top of a very grim hunger situation in Jonglei where already this year 1.4 million people were suffering from acute and severe hunger in addition to over 300,000 children under five who are acutely malnourished.”
This year’s unprecedented torrential rains began well before the flooding from last year had fully receded, the Christian Post reports. Humanitarian workers are concerned the situation will become even more desperate when the official rainy season starts.
“We have yet to get data back to confirm how bad it will be. But I think we all need to prepare ourselves that we must do everything in our power to avoid famine and to avoid the levels of hunger—the catastrophic hunger that we have seen sadly in the past in this country,” Hollingworth said.
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