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Stories: Children, Communities, Futures

“We are already too hungry”

Severe drought, a three-year civil war and economic collapse have resulted in a state of famine being declared in South Sudan. Thirty-eight-year-old Anab, a mother of six, is struggling to keep her family alive.

She is not alone. Over one million people face starvation, including 345,000 children, who have been the hardest hit. Almost five million people require emergency food assistance and people are dying every day of severe acute malnutrition and related illnesses.

For Anab and her children, the situation is life-threatening.

“I have five girls and one boy. My youngest girl, Mary, is just one year old. I cannot get any food for Mary, so I offer her my empty breast,” she says.

“When Mary is too hungry, I boil leaves for her. This helps to keep her belly full.”

“My family moved from our village when the armed militia attacked our home. We ended up in my husband`s family`s village. It is not safe here either. I am afraid for my girls because I’ve heard that the militia kidnap them.”

Anab’s eldest daughter’s education has suffered: “I feel so sad that I cannot go to school. I feel like I cannot ask my parents for school fees, because we don’t even have enough money for food. So I stay at home,” she says.

Anab and her family are at extreme risk of starvation: “We can barely afford food for ourselves. We are already too hungry. Food is our immediate need.”

 

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