Skip to main content
UNICEF Canada Close

Help us save lives by signing up

Subscribing to our newsletter is more than just being a part of yet another email list. By joining, you are participating in the fight for child survival. You will become a part of a global effort to keep children safe, no matter their circumstances.


What would you like to search?

Inside South Sudan: Q&A with UNICEF's Kent Page

June 26, 2014

Kent Page is UNICEF’s senior communications advisor for emergencies. He was recently posted to South Sudan, where more than 1.3 million people, half of them children, have been displaced since December 2013.

How a famine is declared

A famine is declared when certain measures of mortality, malnutrition and hunger are met

  • At least 20 percent of households face extreme food shortages with limited ability to cope
  • The prevalence of global acute malnutrition must exceed 30 percent
  • Death rates must exceed 2 deaths per 10,000 people per day

Why is famine a real threat?

PAGE: Because of the violence and the displacement, people can’t plant food for the harvest season. Markets don’t have the amount of food they would normally have, so prices go up. At the same time, people are displaced. They aren’t working, they don’t have money, they can’t pay for the limited food that exists.



Is there any food in these camps? What are people eating?

PAGE: South Sudanese people are eating whatever they can find, wild vegetables and fruit, roots and grasses. In the camps, there’s food, but the food there might not give you all the nutrients that people need.






All photos © UNICEF/Kent Page