Sudan has been in a state of crisis since early April, when civilians opposing dictator and war criminal Omar al-Bashir finally ousted him from the government. Al-Bashir’s regime, though, was quickly replaced with violent military control, which has left hundreds of peaceful protesters injured, raped, and murdered, reports the Guardian. And now, according to a food security report issued on Friday, South Sudan is facing another crisis: namely, record numbers of starvation. The World Food Programme (WFP) reported about 7 million people are facing food shortages, with more than 20,000 dangerously near famine. This is predicted to continue worsening as the country prepares for its rainiest season; by the end of July, over 1.8 million South Sudanese people will find themselves in a state of emergency, with 5 million in crisis.
“It is famine-like, but you cannot call it famine, because you can only call [it] famine if you have a certain number of criteria,” said WFP spokesman Hervé Verhoosel. “We cannot use the word famine, but [many South Sudanese right now] live in conditions that are equivalent to a famine.”
As a result, food and fuel prices are spiking considerably, and local markets are suffering. With both the hunger and humanitarian crises, Sudan needs help (and money) more than ever. Here are a few ways to directly make an impact.
The World Food Programme: One hundred percent volunteer-run and spanning 75 countries, the WFP is the world’s largest organization specifically devoted to fighting hunger. Just a $15 donation supplies a month’s worth of food to one starving person — and, if you can swing it, $75 can feed an entire family.
The United Nations Children’s Fund: The United Nations Children’s Fund — better known as UNICEF — works to help children in 190 countries across the world in need of healthcare, emergency relief, food, and water. UNICEF has earned top ratings from organizations including Charity Navigator and Charity Watch.
The International Rescue Committee: Also a top-rated charity, the International Rescue Committee offers both nutritional support and emergency medical assistance to malnourished children in need.
The University of Khartoum Alumni Association’s fundraiser: Created by Bakri Ali, the University of Khartoum alums behind this fundraiser on Facebook are working directly with a network of local Sudanese volunteers, organizations, and communities to assist the people of Sudan with both food and medical care. In just over a month, the association has raised more than $375,000, but they’re still far from their goal of $500,000. (You can also invite your Facebook friends to donate, too!)
And, of course, call your representatives: In part thanks to a viral Politico essay by George Clooney and a push on social media (many users are changing their icons navy blue in solidarity, and celebrities such as Rihanna are spreading the word), Congress is finally starting to listen. Check out our guide to calling your reps, and tell your elected officials that it’s important to help the people of Sudan.