To the Editor:
“Food Crisis Worsens in South Sudan as Civil War Is Displacing Millions” (news article, May 20) correctly notes that a serious food crisis is looming in the world’s youngest country. According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification group, of which Action Against Hunger is a global partner, quick action is needed to prevent famine conditions.
What’s more, cholera, a deadly waterborne illness, has broken out in the capital city, Juba, making the lives of an already vulnerable population even more precarious.
Important institutional donors met on May 20 in Oslo to discuss a way forward. The meeting was an important step, but the real challenges lie ahead. Emergency teams must swiftly address cases of cholera and prevent its fatal spread. Nutrition teams must be deployed across South Sudan’s 10 states. The response must also recognize the regional nature of this crisis, reaching the nearly 400,000 South Sudanese refugees in neighboring countries.
For this to happen, humanitarians must have the funds to support their efforts, and they must have access to deliver aid to these communities with a modicum of security. Donors are critical to the first outcome, but a political resolution to the conflict will ultimately be the solution to the crisis itself.
Director of Operations
Action Against Hunger
New York, May 20, 2014