WEST SACRAMENTO CA )IFS) -- This is a man-made disaster from their leaders and the art of war. When one's own military consumes all of the money and the resources of the country, leaving its people to die like animals in a drought in the desert.
The South Sudan government wants to charge each and every Aid Worker, $10,000 for entering into the country to help their people. The government complains that there has been no media coverage in the west since 2014, when the biter battles for life and death were simply at hand-to-hand combat.
Aid agencies say they are urgently seeking clarity from the South Sudanese government after it signalled that it would ramp up the cost of work permits for foreign aid workers, days after a famine was declared in the country.
Aid groups said the move by the labour ministry to increase the cost of permits from $100 to up to $10,000 (£8,230) was “terrible timing” in a country where 100,000 people are starving and a further 1 million are on the brink of starvation.
Last week, the president of South Sudan promised “unimpeded access” to all aid organisations after famine was declared in parts of the country.
The fee increase, introduced in a memorandum, applies to all foreign workers in the country and is aimed at increasing government revenue, the minister of information, Michael Makuei, told Associated Press.
The status of the memorandum, dated 2 March, is unclear, as is its reach, but international agencies expressed concern that they are seen as a “soft touch”.
What do you guard over, when all of your people are dead and dying?
Their people is eating wild grasses, if any is left.
Famine has been declared in two counties of South Sudan, according to an announcement by the South Sudan government and three UN agencies, which says the calamity is the result of prolonged civil war and an entrenched economic crisis that has devastated the war-torn East African nation.
The official classification of famine highlights the human suffering caused by South Sudan's three-year civil war and even as it is declared President Salva Kiir's government is blocking food aid to some areas, according to UN officials.
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More than 100,000 people in two counties of Unity state are experiencing famine and there are fears that the famine will spread as an additional one million South Sudanese are on the brink of starvation, said the announcement.
"Our worst fears have been realized," said Serge Tissot, head of the Food and Agriculture Organization in South Sudan. He said the war has disrupted the otherwise fertile country, causing civilians to rely on "whatever plants they can find and fish they can catch."
Roughly 5.5 million people, or about 50 per cent of South Sudan's population, are expected to be severely food insecure and at risk of death in the coming months, said the report. It added that nearly three-quarters of all households in the country suffer from inadequate food.
If food aid does not reach children urgently "many of them will die," said Jeremy Hopkins, head of the UN children's agency in South Sudan. Over 250,000 children are severely malnourished Hopkins said, meaning they are at risk of death.
Joel Charny, the director of the Norway Refugee Council USA, which has an office in Juba, said NGOs were seeking clarity on the status of the measure and to what extent they may be affected.
Charny said: “It is the wrong measure at the wrong time. If it does come into effect, it’s obviously terrible timing, in a country where 100,000 people are starving as we speak and another 1 million considered on the brink of famine.
“The mere fact that they have put this forward is concerning.”
It appears that any and all aid that is sent to the country is confiscated by the military.
This year could be the most deadly from famine in three decades. The lives of more than 20 million people are at risk in four countries. Large areas of South Sudan have already been declared a famine zone. Five years after a famine that claimed a quarter-of-a-million lives, Somalia is back on the brink of catastrophe: 6 million people are in need of assistance. Both north-east Nigeria and Yemen face real and present risks of famine.
An elaborate humanitarian aid system has been created to prevent mass hunger. Yet as an international community we are failing to respond to the deadly threats posed by entirely predictable, and eminently avoidable, famine.
How to donate: South Sudan famine and Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria food crises
“Famine” is a technical state defined by the level of acute malnutrition and food shortage. But people, especially children, are already going hungry, getting sick and dying. The lives of many of these children hang by a nutritional drip. For every life saved, many more don’t make it to a clinic.
We are drifting slowly but with relentless predictability towards the precipice. On a conservative estimate, 1.4 million children are at imminent risk of death across the four affected countries over the next year. That number is rising by the day as hunger interacts with killer diseases such as diarrhoea, pneumonia, cholera and measles. Every week of delayed action will put more lives on the line.
How did we get here? Conflict, drought, poor governance and a shockingly inadequate international response have all played a part.