Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, and distinguished colleagues – It is an honour to be here and I thank the Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, for this invitation.
Today, I am speaking as the director of the Titi Foundation, an organization fighting for the rights of all marginalized communities, particularly those of women and girls, in South Sudan, a country torn apart by decades of war and incredible human suffering. But, for me, this is deeply personal, as I also stand before you as a South Sudanese woman and a former refugee of my homeland.
In my life, I have experienced war, displacement, disease, hunger and witnessed gender-based violence, abuse and exploitation. Yet, what I am currently witnessing in South Sudan is beyond even my imagination. As I am speaking now, 60% of my people are struggling to find enough food each day, and nearly 2.5 million people are risking famine if they do not receive immediate aid.
Hunger does not discriminate, but prevailing gender inequality does make women and girls the most vulnerable in the face of hunger and conflict. In a country where feeding one’s family is considered a woman’s duty, being unable to do so increases women’s and girls’ gender-based violence risks. This reality only worsens in conflict, as women take on greater care burdens and find it increasingly difficult to produce and provide food for themselves and their families, directly impacting children’s nutrition.
The convergence of conflict, climate change, as seen by the recent floods displacing hundreds of thousands from their homes and destroying agricultural land and gender inequality, with the economic crisis due to Covid-19, is making more and more people hungry and costing more real human lives.
This task is daunting but there are concrete actions that donors, national governments, and the international community can, and must, take.
I am fully aware of my own obligations and responsibilities as a civil society leader to prevent and respond to chronic hunger and famine in my country. But, today, I solemnly call upon you to stand in solidarity. Please ACT NOW.«All Press Releases