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In Photos: Famine in South Sudan

South Sudan is facing one of the world’s worst food crises. A combination of civil war, economic collapse, and drought have pushed parts of the country into deadly famine and displaced millions of people.

More than 270,000 children in South Sudan are severely malnourished.

More than 270,000 children in the country are severely malnourished. The total number of food insecure people across the country will rise from 4.9 million to 5.5 million at the height of the lean season in July if nothing is done to curb the severity and spread of the food crisis.

Forced to abandon their farms and livestock, people have lost the means to feed their families.

Forced to abandon their farms and livestock, people have lost the means to feed their families. The country has spiraled into an economic free-fall. Food and fuel prices have skyrocketed and the cost of living has continued to rise. Trade and local markets have been disrupted and food stocks depleted.

The family is surviving by eating leaves, but they are sick and weak, and in desperate need.

“I don’t have anything,” said 70-year-old Angelina Ipilok, who fled her home with her two grandchildren after her village was attacked. “Even this mat is borrowed. I don’t know what to give these children.”

The family is surviving by eating leaves, but they are sick and weak, and in desperate need.

Many children have been forced to drop out of school in order to search of food.

In the areas worst affected by fighting, children have been forced to drop out of school to search for food. Many are now suffering from diarrhea, a potentially fatal condition when children’s bodies are already weakened by hunger.

Many families have been forced to eat leaves in order to survive.

Seventeen-year-old William is severely malnourished.

“Our houses were burnt so my grandmother, my [younger] brother, and I had to flee for safety,” he said. “We settled in this village in Eastern Equatoria but because we left all our belongings and food behind, we have nothing. We just eat leaves. My grandmother is the one who takes care of us. Sometimes I help her collect the leaves which we boil and eat. Sometimes I am too sick and hungry to even wake up.”

Many families have been displaced by the violence.

Thirty-eight-year-old Anah has been displaced by the violence.

“I have six children,” she said. “Five girls and one boy. My youngest girl is called Mary. She is just 1 year old. I cannot get any food for her so most times I offer her my empty breast. When she is too hungry I boil leaves to keep her belly full. We moved from our village when armed militia attacked our home. We moved to my husband’s village…but it is not safe.”

Thanks to a partnership between the World Food Programme and Plan International, Vivianna’s family is surviving one day at a time.

“Just a little more fire to cook the sorghum,” says 4-year-old Eli as she blows on the flames.

This is the only meal that she will receive all day. Eli’s mother Vivianna, 33, together with her children, mother, and pregnant sister were forced to flee their home when fighting began.

Thanks to a partnership between the World Food Programme (WFP) and Plan International, Vivianna’s family is surviving one day at a time.

Plan is committed to urgently responding to this crisis to save the lives of some of the most vulnerable children.

Plan and WFP are conducting food distributions. Plan has also implemented therapeutic feeding and started feeding programs in schools. By joining hands with 25 partner organizations, Plan is committed to urgently responding to this crisis to save the lives of some of the most vulnerable children on the planet.

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