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UN Declares 'Man-Made' Famine In South Sudan Amid Conflict, Inflation

Despite relief efforts, the U.N. was forced to declare a famine in parts of South Sudan — meaning people are already dying of starvation.
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UN Declares 'Man-Made' Famine In South Sudan Amid Conflict, Inflation

There is officially a famine in South Sudan, and that means people are already dying of starvation.

Several U.N. agencies warn roughly 100,000 people are currently at risk of starvation, and another 1 million are on the brink of famine

A new report estimates 4.9 million people will be severely food insecure through April 2017. That's a number that could increase to 5.5 million this summer without proper support. Those estimates designate between 42 percent and 47 percent of the population in South Sudan as food insecure.

The root of the problem isn't weather or climate — this crisis is man-made. South Sudan has been riled with conflict for decades. It has also struggled with skyrocketing inflation. The country declared independence from Sudan in 2011, but disputes over issues like oil have kept tensions high.

Various aid convoys have helped reduce the risk of starvation since the beginning of the South Sudanese conflict, but recently the local government and rebels have impeded their relief.

This is the first famine declaration since 2011. In that crisis, an estimated 260,000 people in Somalia died between October 2010 and April 2012.