But once she gets her rations, Mar said, she'll go back to the swamps. Her home county, Leer, has been one of the worst affected areas since South Sudan's civil war broke out three years ago. To add to the hardships, the United Nations and South Sudan's government last month declared a famine in Leer and Mayendit counties. Authorities say about 100,000 people there face starvation, with 15,300 of them in Padeah town alone. Yet even though people are starving, many from Padeah still prefer live in the bush for their safety.Share
"The government soldiers come and they kill us and steal our food," said John Chol, who lives just outside of Padeah. He said people would rather live in the swamps than risk being attacked or raped.
Lulu Yurdio's family escaped to the river several months ago. A ripped shirt hung over the 12-year-old's tiny frame. It had been five days since he last ate. "I'm hungry," he said, his eyes full of pain. "I never have food and I'm always hungry." Tasked with picking up rations for his two siblings and parents, he had walked two-and half hours to reach WFP's food distribution site. He said his family was afraid to come out. (Read more.)