By Ann Marie Foley - 10 September, 2014
1.5 million people have been displaced and 4 million face hunger.
Trócaire and UNICEF are among many charities who have appealed for aid for South Sudan.
According to Trócaire, 1.5 million people have been displaced and 4 million face hunger as a result of conflict.
The legacy of civil war and chronic under-development resulted in South Sudan becoming one of the poorest countries in the world when it gained independence in July 2011.
This new conflict, which erupted in December 2013, has led to a worsening humanitarian emergency.
In a video filmed in a camp for displaced people near the capital Juba, Trócaire chairman Éamonn Meehan appealed for help.
“There are 22,000 people in this camp. Their needs are very basic, for food, for water, for medical care, education for the children. All of those things we can provide for these people who are victims of war and conflict. We can do this through our local partners but we need your help,” he said.
Trócaire is bringing support to the displaced who are at risk of serious food insecurity.
The Irish charity works through the Caritas network of relief agencies. Caritas is providing 100,000 people with emergency supplies including food, plastic sheeting, blankets, mats, jerry cans, soap, mosquito nets, clean water and health care.
UNICEF has also appealed for aid. One woman it is helping is Nyalyauk Nyok and her 3-year-old child Gatluak Wiyual, in Upper Nile State.
“The children here are sick, always sick, with headaches, tummy aches, coughs, diarrhoea, fevers,” she said.
Life is difficult for her and other mothers in South Sudan since this new round of violence broke out last December.
No international aid had reached her remote village in the Upper Nile State until UNICEF and partners WHO landed a few weeks ago on a Rapid Response Mission.
“Since the war came, there is nothing in the health centre, no supplies, no medicines. That means our families are suffering, and as a mother there is nothing that I can do to make it easier for them. We are eating only sorghum sometimes, maybe two weeks of each month, maybe less. In fact the main thing that we eat is grass and leaves, things we pick from the ground or the trees,” said Nyalyauk Nyok.
South Sudan is on the brink of famine, UNICEF reports. More than 3.9 million people in South Sudan do not know where there next meal is coming from. UNICEF estimates that 50,000 children could die before the end of the year unless enough emergency food gets to them in time.