Over 40 percent of South Sudan’s population is facing famine, the United Nations has declared. Nearly 5 million people, including more than a million children, are suffering from acute malnutrition, and require urgent aide, the organization said. “Our worst fears have been realized,” Serge Tissot, a representative for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations said. “Many families have exhausted every means they have to survive.”
The famine follows six years of increasing economic insecurity, after South Sudan declared independence in 2011. Since its independence, the country has faced rapid inflation, civil war, and a refugee crisis, which saw approximately 1.5 million South Sudanese flee to neighboring Uganda. A UN food program spokesperson told CNN that the organization’s funds and resources were dwindling in the country, and that the UN expected to run out of food supplies unless it received approximately $205 million in funding within the next six months.