All beings must have their basic needs met to survive and thrive in life. In the case of the South Sudanese people, their basic needs are not being met and the growing economic issue has been a major factor in the country’s struggles.
The South Sudanese people have been in economic turmoil since the civil war in 2013. Approximately 6.5 million people in South Sudan are experiencing extreme levels of famine. The situation is only escalating to a point where people can no longer afford to eat a single meal a day, starving children with parents longing just for necessities.
As Matthew Hollingworth, Representative and Country Director of WFP in South Sudan says, “Drastic times call for drastic measures. We are forced to take these painful decisions and stretch our limited resources to meet the critical needs of people who were on the brink of starvation and now risk slipping back into a catastrophe if their access to food diminishes.”
In this case, many South Sudanese people fled the country in 2018. There was a sparkle of hope for the South Sudanese people when the government placed into order the Revitalized Peace Agreement to end the civil war. About 300,000 refugees returned to the country to find their homes destroyed and in ruins and many of the Revitalized Agreements were not met including the deployment of unified forces and broader security sector reform.
South Sudan’s cash flow problem is currently off the economic charts so to say; literally, the economic cash flow is so scarce that the ATMs have been shut down. With the country suffering from foreign debts as large as 50 billion dollars the economy is suffering severely. With basic needs out of reach with costs almost doubling to tripling, people are failing to meet basic human rights requirements. To give a bigger picture: it costs the government approximately 1.6 billion to import basic survival foods such as wheat, rice, sugar, and cooking oils.
Humanitarians say, “food insecurity this year is the worst in a decade with 7.2 million people severely acutely food insecure. There have been three years of unprecedented flooding. Last year’s floods were the worst for 60 years, affecting 480,000 people.”
480,000 is bigger than the Bahamas, which is a country in itself of hungry people. When you look at South Sudan as a whole there is economic ruin, national debts, food prices doubling, and a country in shambles and hunger; things need to change.