Sudan: Towards a Proposal Solution to end Famine in South Sudan

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Author, Date of the post, WMO Conflict Insight, Title of the post,  ISSN: 2628-6998, 

Famine has plagued South Sudan for many decades. This situation is due not only to the geographical position of this country but also to the rapid climate change and ethnic wars. Several solutions have tried to bring relief to this significant problem of famine without real success. Therefore, it is advisable to think of it differently. In this work, I analyze the reel causes and impact of the famine in South Sudan. To bring the solution to the famine in this region, I suggest looking at the Israeli system of irrigation that succeeded in the desert and implementing it in the South Sudan context considering its realities to develop intensive agriculture and boost the country’s development. 


Famine, Mass displacement


South Sudan has experienced many famines, which cause the mass displacement of its population and animals. The frequent famine experience has long pushed the government and international community to overcome this great challenge. However, this situation also fuels ethnic conflict underpinning the political and economic stability of the country with consequences of violating human rights. How can Israel’s case of irrigation serve as a model to end or reduce a significant percentage of famine in South Sudan? 

Understanding reel causes and impact of famine in South Sudan

Although famine can sometimes result from man-made catastrophes caused by wars and economic collapse, most famines in South Sudan are caused by natural disasters. Consequently, this force over 4 million people – 1 in 3 –to flee their homes. In addition, nearly 2.5 million have fled to neighboring countries. Famine has short- and long-term effects on physical health (especially severe undernutrition of children, pregnant women, adults) and economy and flaws in all society activities sectors. On adult health, the long-term effects of famine are the depression of the economic development of South Sudan. The coordination of humanitarian efforts contributed to addressing this issue so far. However, if nothing is done greater, the exact cause will produce the same effect and result in a repeated and continuous conflict.

South Sudan Famine Situation

South Sudan suffered the 1998 famine before its independence. On 20 February 2017, the UN officially declared famine in parts of South Sudan. This was due to several years of instability in the country’s food supply caused by war and drought. The famine primarily focused on the northern part of the country. An estimated five million people (nearly 50% of the South Sudanese population) were affected. In May 2017, the famine was officially declared to have weakened to a state of severe food insecurity.  The international community uttered famine was man-made, pointing to the current conflict to generate such conditions. 70 000 TO 100 000 were reportedly died during the famine. In 2018 the UN, through the coordinated effort of its agencies, the World Food Program, the United Nations Children’s Fund), called for sustainable peace across the country. However, inadequate rainfall in 2018 has exacerbated the effects of the conflict and reduced crop production. A handful of peace agreements have been signed for the war — the most current in September 2018, but they have been constantly violated. But the situation in South Sudan remains precarious, and eruptions of violence continue.

ISRAEL’s land RECLAMATION case as an example for zero hunger in South Sudan  

South Sudan is mainly covered in tropical forests, swamps, and grassland. The White Nile passes through the country, passing by the capital city of Juba. Half the water of the White Nile is lost in the swamps as vegetation absorbs it or animals drink it. The Sudd, the Bar El Gazal, and the Sobat River swamps provide a significant resource for wild animals and livestock. Referring to the case of Israel, a state-of-the-art irrigation system can be built from the Nile with a sophisticated drainage system. This, of course, requires coordination of effort at the highest summit of the Sudanese state. It demands the framing of a comprehensive program to develop the country’s soil and water resources. It requires numerous outstanding experts, such as specialists in soil science, forestry, horticulture plant breeding, and civil engineering. This expertise is to establish the ultimate modern agriculture in short order. Above this, a thriving national land development program should be found through a land inventory and classification according to their relative exposure to erosion and the water. Another critical point is to build the staff capacity in this domain to carry out such a mission in a particular department of agricultural engineering. With this system, South Sudan will develop a water supply and sufficient agriculture for its population. 


Throughout this process, our job has been to understand whether the Israeli desert irrigation system can be applied to southern Sudan to end severe famine. After analyzing the causes and consequences of this ending, it emerges that the Israeli example could well be used to the south of Sudan, considering its realities. Such a system undoubtedly requires hard work and coordination of financial and technical efforts at the highest summit of the Sudanese state. But will the ongoing hostilities favor the development of such a system?


Aljazeera. Famine declared in part of South Sudan’s Unity state. 2017/2/21/famine-declared-in-part-of-south-Sudan’s-unity-state (Accessed June 11, 2021)

The Globe and Mail. Man-made famine Declared in South Sudan: United Nations says.https://www article34088530/ (Accessed June 11, 2021).

Oxfam International. Hunger crisis in South Sudan. cies/hunger-crisis-south-sudan (Accessed June 14, 2021).

Luka, Edward E., and Ann Burgess. Famine and its Effects on Health in South Sudan. South Sudan Medical Journal, (Accessed 14 June, 2021).

Wikipedia. 2017 Famine in South Sudan.

Wikipedia. Geography of South Sudan. of South Sudan# :~:text=South %20Sudan%20is%20mostly%20covered,it%20or%20animals%20drink%20it.

Scientific American. 50 Years Ago: The Reclamation of a Man-Made Desert.https://www.scienti ficamerican .com/article/reclamation-of-man-made-desert/

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