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27 humanitarian agencies working in South Sudan, including Trócaire, have warned that unless substantial funds are immediately provided to those working on the ground, organisations will struggle to stop famine spreading across the country in the next few months.
This statement follows Monday’s declaration of famine in parts of the country.
The UN has appealed for $1.6 billion to cope with the crisis and pledges have already been made in recent days by the UK (£100m) and the EU (82m Euros) – but the money is needed urgently for those on the ground before the rains start in April, which would make the delivery of aid even more difficult.
The aid organisations say that if their requests are not urgently acted upon, the number of people going hungry could increase to more than 5.5 million by July 2017.
Trócaire’s team in South Sudan is providing emergency food and water to people. We are also providing safety and emergency relief to South Sudanese refugees who have fled to camps in Uganda.
“The people I met in villages are in urgent need of help,” said Trócaire’s Sean Farrell. “Without aid, they will not survive the coming months. The situation is really dire – already 100,000 people are confirmed to be in famine but millions more are on the brink.
“Farming families in the region are used to experiencing hungry seasons in between harvests but the situation facing them today is unprecedented. They have run out of food supplies five months earlier than normal and have no way to produce food until August at the earliest.”
The ongoing conflict in South Sudan has displaced millions of people and the dire situation has been compounded by a devastating drought.
Find out more about our response to the Extreme Hunger Crisis and what you can do
The following 27 aid agencies working in South Sudan signed the statement: