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World News \ Africa

International community urged to do more to help South Sudan

Queues for food aid at a food distribution made by the World Food Programme in Bentiu, South Sudan.  - AP

Queues for food aid at a food distribution made by the World Food Programme in Bentiu, South Sudan. - AP

23/02/2017 12:45

(Vatican Radio) The relief agency Christian Aid has appealed to the international community to do more to resolve the crisis in South Sudan, which has led to famine in parts of the country.

Some 100,000 people are facing starvation in Unity State while a further 1 million are classified as being on the brink of famine.

On Wednesday Pope Francis called for concrete action to get food aid to famine victims in the world’s newest nation.

The UK’s Department for International Development announced on Wednesday that it is to provide £200m in emergency aid to South Sudan and Somalia.

Nick Guttmann, Head of the Humanitarian Division at Christian Aid spoke to Lydia O’Kane about the desperate situation facing many people in the country.

Listen: 

Tens of thousands have died in the civil war that began in December 2013 and has continued despite a peace agreement in 2015. More than 1.5 million people have fled South Sudan. Nick Guttmann says that, “the famine is a result of the ongoing conflict which has made it very difficult for people to sustain their livelihoods… and the conflict has made it impossible for them to get the food and resources they need to survive.”

Asked about what the immediate needs are, he stresses that, the immediate need above all is always peace and security so people can go back to their homes, but in terms of the relief supplies, we need to be providing food and non-food items to help them survive…”

Speaking about the international community’s role, Mr Guttmann says, it needs to push for peace and access in the country and provide relief aid urgently to make sure that people can get over this very difficult situation.

23/02/2017 12:45