South Sudan has been a country in turmoil for a long time. In 1983, after a decade-long pause in the country's long civil war between the north and south, conflict broke out again. It wasn't until early 2005 - after more than 1.5 million people had died - that a peace agreement was signed between the two sides. The agreement led to the historic vote that created the Republic of South Sudan on July 9, 2011.
From the start, South Sudan was one of the poorest countries in the world. Most of the fledgling nation is in the grip of a humanitarian crisis fueled by years of chronic underdevelopment, conflict and natural disasters.
Three years of brutal civil war has contributed to an economic crisis and below average harvest that continues to send food prices skyrocketing. The result has been a food crisis that continues to spread throughout the country. According to an early warning report, there are new areas of South Sudan reaching emergency levels of food crisis, which is just one level above famine. These are areas where people have been recently displaced because of outbreaks of the conflict that drove them off their land leaving them with no access to food and their agricultural livelihoods. For example in Jonglei State, there have been 200,000 people recently displaced.
1.7 million people are on the brink of famine and 6.1 million face extreme hunger in South Sudan. That is half population – the highest number ever recorded in the country. 1 million children under the age of five are severely malnourished.