SOUTH SUDAN’S HUMANITARIAN CRISIS
of its own funds on health – one of the lowest rates in the world.
“It’s a kind of blackmail,” said one Western diplomat. “If you draw your red line, and you say we will only spend this much, [the government] will just say, okay, don’t fund it then. If we don’t do it, people will die.”
Donors were also forced to pick up the slack when malnutrition rates began to rise in urban centres. In a sign that the LCS failed in their objective to stabilise food prices, the cost of a food basket went up five fold between 2014 and 2016, forcing many urban dwellers to drastically cut their food intake. The spread of hunger to Juba was a worrying development for aid agencies, already stretched trying to avert famine in remote, conflictridden areas.
“Most of our assistance has been going to rural areas...but with increased food insecurity, it will require scaling up the activities in the urban areas,” said Joyce Luma, country director for the World Food Programme (WFP) in South Sudan. Together with other agencies, WFP in 2016 launched a new $21 million programme to feed the capital’s increasingly impoverished population.
“The citizens are really suffering,”