Food insecurity has been one of the biggest humanitarian crises in the world since World War II, and it has always been a primary concern in South Sudan. As a newly independent country, South Sudan has faced constant challenges since it was born in 2011. Turbulence and violence occurred in the country over five years of civil war. At least 50,000 were killed, more than 2 million displaced, leaving farmland abandoned. The economy was obliterated and food prices became devastatingly high. As a result, nearly 5 million people, about half of South Sudan’s total population, are facing severe food shortages.
For the past two years, an ongoing drought has severely decreased the harvest of South Sudan. This year’s harvest was the smallest since 2011. According to the World Food Program (WFP), the harvest only produces a fraction of South Sudan’s needs, leaving 5 million people under severe food insecurity, and 21,000 are likely living under famine conditions. Despite the fact that they are there trying to help, aid workers are frequently targeted by government forces and rebels. The destruction of roads makes food distribution increasingly difficult. The WFP suggests that the lack of food security could lead to a “poverty trap” where poverty causes food insecurity, hunger, and malnutrition, which negatively affect physical and mental development. This then leads to a low productivity level and ultimately forms a vicious circle.
In order to alleviate the effects of food insecurity, the United States should provide funding to NGOs and IGOs focussing on assisting those who face serious challenges. Research shows that enough food is being produced throughout the year, but a huge amount of it goes to waste, so that many people end up not having enough food. Two organizations that should be taken into consideration for the funding are Oxford Committee for Famine Relief (Oxfam) International and World Food Programme (WFP), as the primary concern of both is to reduce poverty and increase food security.
Founded in 1942, Oxfam is dedicated to creating a future where there is no one lives in poverty. It recognizes the inequality all over the world and believes that injustice is the root of the problem, demonstrating a high level of understanding of the complexity of the issue. While supporting people with direct funding and food, Oxfam also works on improving the underlying structure behind. They are also helping women and their families create lasting solutions to lift themselves from extreme poverty. The broadness and deepness of their work leave people with a prominent impression.
While Oxfam is determined in finding a long-term solution for the whole situation, WFP provides emergency relief that clears the obstacles along the way. WFP’s first project was launched in 1963 in Sudan, and soon became fully developed with its UN programme, saying it would last for “as long as multilateral food aid is found feasible and desirable.” Funded entirely by voluntary donations, WFP delivers food and other assistance to those in need on a daily basis and distributes more than 15 million rations every year. They are willing to conduct their work in conflict-affected countries such as South Sudan, where people are three times more likely to be facing a food crisis. The WFP’s willingness to risk the lives of their workers proves their determination to alleviate the problem.
Funding toward the aforementioned NGOs would greatly help in eliminating poverty in South Sudan, as Oxfam is focusing on the root of the problem while WFP takes care of the people on a daily basis. With help from those organizations, people from South Sudan can have better access to food resources.