‘It is our job to save lives’
The reality and horror of famine is hard to grasp. Victims waste away and look like stick figures. They become too weak to walk and babies grow too weak to cry and even to move. Eventually they become too far gone to benefit from help, if it comes too late.
Since late February, parts of South Sudan have suffered a famine. This follows several years of instability in food supply, caused mainly by war and drought. The famine is expected to affect a horrific figure of close to five million people, or half of the entire population. Experts also predict that there is “no end in sight”. Food shortages are expected to get worse by the lean season in the middle of the year.
Someone with his finger on the pulse of getting food to those in highly food insecure areas is Justin Dombo. “I have worked as a truck driver for JAM South Sudan for three years,” says Justin. He says that he is South Sudanese and is from Yambio in Western Equatoria.
“It is our job to get food to the hungry and to save lives. We transport food to Internally Displaced Persons camps. We work very hard during the dry season because it is so difficult to move during the rainy season.”
The routes into the interior are dangerous, and all humanitarian workers keep up to date with the developments. “Because of the conflict, there are many roads we cannot travel on because they are not safe,” he says. “The United Nations helps us a lot by giving us reports and they let us know where it is free to pass.”
Yet we have the ability to stop this from happening. JAM has had a powerful presence in the country since 2001 and is familiar with the territory. We work with partners such as the World Food Programme, USAid, the UN Commission, the Department of International Development, the World Bank, Unicef, Food and Agriculture Organisation, UNCR, Unesco, United Nations Development Programme and the Common Humanitarian Fund on a range of projects in South Sudan. JAM has superior logistical abilities in the form of a fleet of between three – ten metric ton trucks based in Juba. We use our fleet to transport Plumpy’Nut in to the interior, and to pre-position the life-saving food before the rainy season. We are committed to getting food to those on the brink of starvation, but need your help to do so.
Support JAM in South Sudan and help feed communities to turn the food crisis around. Partner with us to save a life today.