South Sudan: Stop the faminePublished: Aug 6, 2014 Reading time: 3 minutes
If the world does not act, 3.7 million people in South Sudan will be starving by the end of September. Rarely, a catastrophe has been predicted so precisely before.
Prague / Juba, August 6th, 2014. More and more people in South Soudan are already living on only grass and seeds. “As farmers could not till their fields, there will be no harvest this year; the last supplies will be used up by the end of September. Those who escaped the machetes are now in danger of dying from hunger”, says the programme director of German humanitarian NGO Welthungerhilfe, Mathias Mogge, who visited the country in May. “Until now the civil war has driven more than 1.5 million people away“, he adds.
Rarely in the past was it possible to predict a catastrophe with such precision; according to the United Nations (UN), the country is facing “the worst food crisis in the world”. If they do not get help, 50,000 children are at risk of dying this year. Aid organisations are currently taking care of 1.9 million South Sudanese, but according to UN-information, 750 million euros are needed to relieve the worst hardship. “If the international community does not use the window of time before the end of September, it will be too late for the people of Southern Sudan”, says Mogge. “We cannot let a famine such as in the Horn of Africa in 2011 occur again”. That year over ten million people starved as the result of a drought.
Welthungerhilfe, who is a member of the Alliance2015 group, launched an online-campaign to draw attention on the situation in South Soudan. As part of the campaign Welthungerhilfe is asking the donor countries to keep their promise and to provide the 460 million euros which they already pledged in May. With the hashtag #ByTheEndOfSeptember, the message / catastrophe warning will be spread through social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. The motto of the campaign is simple: “Don’t say later that you didn’t know anything about it”.
What can be done?
In this summer of crises, interest is in short supply. Let’s focus on the problem instead of looking the other way! Let’s act now rather than later!
- Draw attention to the famine in South Sudan – with the hashtag #ByTheEndOfSeptember!
- Post a photo of yourself on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Instagram. Or just round up your football club, seminar course or school class and publish a group photo with the hashtag #ByTheEndOfSeptember!
- Direct your appeal in a video to politicians and the general public and link up with us on YouTube.
- Talk with your friends, colleagues and family and explain to them what will happen in South Sudan, if we continue to take no action.
For more information or possible interviews with our field staff in South Sudan contact:
Petr Štefan, media coordinator of People in Need’s Relief & Development Department, at +420 608 817 958 or firstname.lastname@example.org