In this episode of NowThis World, Judah Robinson traveled to The Kakuma Refugee Camp in northern Kenya, just 80 miles away from South Sudan's border, to speak to some of the people who've recently fled South Sudan.
Over a million people in South Sudan are at risk of severe hunger - again. And while hunger has always troubled the young country, the link between it and conflict has meant that more South Sudanese people are hungry now - more than ever before
Hunger isn't a new
issue for this country. It has experienced waves of drought, famine, and severe
hunger as recently as 2017. And these issues have only been exacerbated by South Sudan's civil war. In 2013, just two years after South Sudan became independent, then-president Salva Kiir dissolved his entire cabinet and accused then-Vice President Riek Machar of planning a failed coup.
Salva Kiir is an ethnic Dinka, the country's largest group, while Machar is from Nuer, the
second largest community. The political quarrel eventually turned into ethnic violence. The fighting has displaced over 4 million South Sudanese, exacerbated human needs, and halted relief operations.
One challenge the nation faces every year is the seasons. South Sudanese rely on dry seasons for harvest and refer to the rainy seasons as the hunger season, because it's the time they rely on stored food before the next harvest. This year's harvest is the smallest on record since the country was formed in 2011.
Over the past few years, a number of peace talks have been held with little results. And although ending the war might not solve all food insecurity issues in the country, one thing is clear — the war ending would be a step in the right direction.