Credit: Vox

20 million starving to death: inside the worst famine since World War II

When war came to 15-year-old Rebecca Riak Chol’s small town in rural South Sudan in early April, she and 27 other villagers fled into nearby marshlands to hide. They spent two grueling weeks slowly making their way to the relative safety of a region controlled by rebels from her same tribe. They were constantly hungry, constantly thirsty, and constantly in danger of being killed by the troops trying to hunt them down. Chol’s sister died along the way, but it wasn’t because she was found and shot. Instead, she — like growing numbers of South Sudanese — died from starvation.

In February, the United Nations estimated that 100,000 South Sudanese were starving, and that 5 million more — 42 percent of the country’s population — have such limited access to proper food that they don’t know where their next meal is coming from. More recent figures are not available yet, but aid agencies fear the situation could be much worse now.

Jane Ferguson in Vox.