Starving Sudanese now surviving on tree leaves

Starving SudaneseFrom RAJI BASHIR in Khartoum, Sudan
KHARTOUM, (CAJ News) – MILLIONS facing severe food shortages in crisis-torn South Sudan are resorting to extreme coping techniques of eating leaves from trees and seed stocks to survive hunger.
Among trees whose leaves the famished Sudanese are surviving on include Lalop tree and wild water lilies, which is worsening a cholera outbreak battering the country.
“When families eat these leaves and little else, malnutrition quickly follows,” said the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) Director in South Sudan, Rehana Zawar.
The agency is among several non-governmental organisations providing humanitarian support in the country.
NRC has emergency teams on the ground, and since the recent declaration of famine in parts of the country the organisation has helped support more than 100 000 people affected by the food crisis.
“Children are eating leaves off the trees. There is not enough food to eat. Some of the children have diarrhoea from eating the leaves,” said Zawar.
The consumption of seeds is especially alarming as without seeds for cultivation, families will have nothing to plant for the next growing season.
Across much of the country, household access to food and cash income has declined as conflict has disrupted planting, harvesting and other livelihood activities.
Over 35 000 people have already fled South Sudan and crossed the border to Sudan this year, according to UUnited Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
South Sudan ranks among the countries with highest levels of conflict-induced population displacement globally.
Over 1, 6 million people are displaced inside the country, and more than 900 000 have fled to neighbouring countries since December 2013. Six million people – more than half the population – need humanitarian assistance.
About US$2 billion (R27,7 billion) is required to support people in need but so far, only 18 per cent of the appeal has been funded.
CAJ News

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Posted by on Apr 10 2017. Filed under Africa & World, Featured, National, News, Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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