In reaction to South Sudan declaring famine in two regions today, Oxfam America’s Senior Humanitarian Policy Advisor, Noah Gottschalk made the following statement:
“Today’s declaration of famine in parts of South Sudan is a man-made tragedy, and we are running out of time to avoid it getting worse. In over 30 years working in the affected areas, Oxfam has never witnessed such dire need. Vulnerable people who are out of reach for life-saving assistance due to the conflict, are paying the ultimate price. People have been pushed to the brink of surviving on what they can find to eat in swamps and so often in a crisis, women and children are those worst affected. We need an end to the fighting so that we can get food to those who urgently need it and provide them with support to rebuild their shattered lives.
“In 2011 after the famine that hit Somalia, the world said 'never again.' The declaration of famine in South Sudan reflects the collective failure to heed the countless warnings of an ever-worsening situation.
“While this famine has been a long time in the making, addressing urgent need and resolving the root causes is a vital early test of the new Trump administration. South Sudan has long been a bipartisan priority, including the Bush administration's support for peace in 2005 and the Obama administration's efforts to steer the country to independence in 2011. President Trump must continue this legacy, with both robust humanitarian funding to save lives and strong political leadership to end conflict.”
Notes to Editor:
Oxfam has been assisting populations in South Sudan since the 1980’s, providing food security and water, sanitation and hygiene assistance. In the past year alone, Oxfam has helped over 600,000 people across the country with food and water distributions, and assisted almost 40,000 of the most vulnerable in Panyijar county, Unity State.