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Why The Famine In South Sudan Keeps Getting Worse

The U.N. says Sudan — and three other countries — are the scene of catastrophic famine. What are the causes?

Women carry food in gunny bags after visiting an aid distribution centre in Ngop in South Sudan's Unity State on March 10, 2017. The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) distributed food (maize, lentils, oil and corn soya blend) for more than 7,100 people in Ngop. South Sudan, the world's youngest nation formed after splitting from the north in 2011, has declared famine in parts of Unity State, saying 100,000 people face starvation and another million are on the brink of famine. Aid groups have slammed a 'man-made' famine caused by ongoing fighting in the country where civil war has forced people to flee, disrupted agriculture, sent prices soaring, and seen aid agencies blocked from accessing some of the worst-hit areas. / AFP PHOTO / ALBERT GONZALEZ FARRAN / Getty Images

Things are spiraling downward in South Sudan, one of four nations where, according to the U.N., the greatest humanitarian crisis since 1945 is unfolding.

And in the case of South Sudan, it's not drought or climate change that's causing the catastrophe. It's civil war.

Last month the U.N. declared a famine in two parts of the country and warned that nearly half the population is in urgent need of food assistance.

Soon after this declaration, the American relief agency Samaritan

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