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    Posted May 19, 2014 by
    Upper Nile, South Sudan

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    South Sudan: Millions of people's lives at risk in world's newest country


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     WorldVision1 told me, 'The humanity of the people. That is what struck me. But none of my photos can do justice to the real horrors and desperation of what it really means to live as an IDP. No water to drink, no food to eat, nowhere warm or dry to sleep and no idea when you will go home again. All the children I met just wanted to go back to school and to have their old lives back. One little girl said to me: "If we can't go to school how can we learn? If we can't learn how can we grow up?"'
    - hhanks, CNN iReport producer

    As the conflict in South Sudan rages on, children's lives hang in the balance. Since the violence began in December 2013, 1.3 million people have fled their homes, and almost four million people are facing severe food insecurity.


    These photos were taken by World Vision staff member Nadene Robertson in the Upper Nile region of the towns of Malakal and Rom.


    Malakal is the scene where some of the worst fighting has taken place, and was South Sudan’s second city with 170,000 people. Today it is a completely destroyed ghost town.


    Over 16,000 people take refuge at the UN base in Malakal where living conditions are dire. People sleep on top of rubbish piles, as it's too dangerous to remove their rubbish outside the base for risk of getting killed. Six latrines serve thousands of people with no light making it too dangerous for women to use the latrines at night. Fears of cholera outbreaks are increasing as the rainy season begins.


    In the town of Rom, Upper Nile there are 28,000 women, children and elderly sleeping under trees. They have fled to Rom from Malakal city where there was serious fighting. Rom is peaceful but those who fled there have nothing and risk disease and starvation and cold.


    Women and children sleep under open air in the driving rain. One mother pictured here says she has no breast milk to feed her baby. With no food she's eating leaves to survive.


    Aid agencies including World Vision are warning millions are at risk of starvation and malnutrition across South Sudan. International governments meeting on Tuesday, May 20 in Oslo, Norway are an opportunity for funds to be pledged to avert a humanitarian catastrophe.

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