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CARE urges global community to act now to help nearly 7 million at risk
Juba, South Sudan (April 17, 2014) — A new report on the humanitarian situation in South Sudan warns that the safety and food security of nearly 7 million people will deteriorate rapidly without a swift, international response. CARE urges the global community to do more to provide urgently needed food and health aid as well as help stop the violent conflict that has precipitated this humanitarian crisis.
Today CARE and 21 other aid and humanitarian agencies published Loaded Guns and Empty Stomachs, a new report on the humanitarian situation in South Sudan. The report details how the current violent conflict has sparked a rapidly worsening food crisis in an already vulnerable country. Its authors, including CARE, urge the international community to work toward a negotiated political settlement to the current conflict while scaling up aid for vital food and health services.
"CARE just finished a rapid response mission in Pagak in Upper Nile state where we saw women and children bearing the weight of this conflict and the beginning of what may be a serious food crisis,” says Aimee Ansari, CARE country director for South Sudan. “The international community hasto invest more in health, nutrition, water and sanitation now. Once the rainy season begins, many of the most vulnerable people will be unreachable.”
More than one million people have been forced from their homes and livelihoods by violent conflict that began in South Sudan in December 2013. With farmers forced from their land and unable to plant or harvest, the 3.7 million people already in need of immediate food assistance will grow rapidly. Additionally, markets and vital health facilities across the country have been destroyed.
Loaded Guns and Empty Stomachs notes that, before violence broke out in December, South Sudan’s food security was the best it had been in five years. The current conflict threatens to quickly erase South Sudan’s significant progress. Already, feeding centers in Jonglei and Upper Nile have reported seeing twice as many malnourished children in January 2014 as they did the prior January.
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About CARE: CARE has been operating in Southern Sudan (now South Sudan) since 1993, initially providing humanitarian relief to internally displaced people in Western Equatoria. The signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005 allowed CARE to expand into Jonglei and Upper Nile States to support returnees from the refugee camps, and the organization has since broadened its operations to include development programs.
Founded in 1945 with the creation of the CARE Package®, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE has more than six decades of experience delivering emergency aid during times of crisis. Our emergency responses focus on the needs of the most vulnerable populations, particularly girls and women. Last year CARE worked in 86 countries and reached more than 97 million people around the world. To learn more, visit www.careinternational.org.