World South Sudan: Women, children left behind as men fight

10:35  26 may  2017
10:35  26 may  2017 Source:   MSN

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Arek Mjok and her 12-year-old daughter Aluel had walked for two hours to reach the food distribution site. They were desperately hungry, but waited patiently in the heat to collect their rations of rye, sorghum and oil.

There's a crisis in Northern Bahr Ghazal in South Sudan because fighting has cut off supply routes, drought has killed crops and soaring As men join the fight or simply abandon their families, women are often left to care for the family alone. In times of desperation, children are expected to step up too.

South Sudan: Women, children left behind as men fight © Michael Morrah South Sudan: Women, children left behind as men fight Arek Mjok and her 12-year-old daughter Aluel had walked for two hours to reach the food distribution site.

They were desperately hungry, but waited patiently in the heat to collect their rations of rye, sorghum and oil.

There's a crisis in Northern Bahr Ghazal in South Sudan because fighting has cut off supply routes, drought has killed crops and soaring inflation makes buying imported goods too expensive for most.

It's a region on the brink of famine.

Arek and the rest of her family are considering crossing the border into Sudan to search for food.

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Chahari, South Sudan - The dull thud of a coconut being thrown against a flat stone summons the children around the low straw-thatched mud tukul, a traditional round house in eastern And while the men fight , many women are left behind to carry the day-to-day burden of caring for their families.

Women and children make up the vast majority of the nearly 50,000 people who have fled fighting in South Sudan to become refugees in neighbouring Uganda. Other women and children are alone because their men have dropped them off here for safet.

Such a journey is extremely dangerous. But 2,800 people are fleeing South Sudan every day, seeking safety in neighbouring countries.

The hardship ensured by Arek's family and so many others here is unimaginable, but I was amazed at the resilience of the people, especially the women.

As men join the fight or simply abandon their families, women are often left to care for the family alone.

In times of desperation, children are expected to step up too.

Aluel should be at school. But today she's helping her mother lug precious supplies back to the rest of the family.

The food they collect won't be enough to sustain the entire family, but Arek told me it'll ensure they live to see tomorrow.

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