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Aid groups have issued warnings of a looming famine in South Sudan expected within weeks unless massive funding for food aid is provided.
Aid groups have issued warnings of a looming famine in South Sudan, which was plunged into violence in December when the president accused his deputy of attempting a coup. Thousands have been killed in the conflict, while more than 1.3 million people fled their homes during the critical planting season. With residents now heavily dependent on charity, the famine is expected within weeks unless massive funding for food aid is provided.
In the photo above, families with malnourished children wait to receive treatment at the Leer Hospital, South Sudan, on July 7, 2014.
In an effort to reach hundreds of thousands of starving and malnourished people in South Sudan, the first air drops by the International Red Cross in nearly two decades took place in Leer on July 5. Thousands of people waited in the hot sun for emergency food supplies and seed.
A woman and her malnourished child wait to receive treatment at the Leer Hospital on July 7. Hundreds of thousands of people were cut off from critical, lifesaving medical care after the Leer Hospital, run by Doctors Without Borders (MSF), was ransacked and destroyed in early February. When MSF returned to Leer in mid-May, people in the town were desperate for medical attention, and the hospital admitted over 800 malnourished children in the first day.
Children race into the drop zone to gather any food or seeds that were spilled during the airdrop in Leer, on July 5. Over 40 tons of emergency food supplies and seed - enough for 1,100 families - were airdropped by the International Red Cross.
A man looks at an International Red Cross dropping emergency food supplies in Leer, on July 5. On Monday, Doctors Without Borders (MSF), which has earned a reputation for working in some of toughest war zone conditions across the world, said the situation was the worst it had seen in years.
Malnourished children receive treatment at the Leer Hospital, on July 7. The U.N. children's agency UNICEF warned in April that nearly 250,000 children in South Sudan will suffer severe acute malnutrition this year if more action is not taken.
Martha Nyarueni, right, and her family return to their home outside of Leer, after receiving aid packages on July 5. In January Martha fled with her husband and five children into the bush, where they lived for months before returning home in May to find their home burned and food stores looted.
Families receive the aid packages dropped from an International Red Cross plane in Leer, on July 5. The Disasters Emergency Committee has said that member agencies have less than half the money needed to prevent South Sudan's food crisis from getting worse.
Families with malnourished children wait to receive treatment at the Leer Hospital, on July 7.
Martha Nyarueni and her family stand by their home outside Leer after receiving aid packages, on July 5.