The rains are now falling, but on a country where people cannot work their fields because of fighting and where food prices are escalating beyond their reach

The tape measure wound around the arm of two-year old Apiu Kau tells its own story. Under the traffic light system for measuring undernutrition, green means healthy, amber is for “at risk”. Apiu is deep in the red zone: seriously malnourished. South Sudan is grappling with famine and severe hunger.

Now, despite a heavy UN presence and the efforts of many of the world’s largest organisations, delivering life-saving aid is about to become more difficult. After rains failed last year across the Horn of Africa, now they have started to fall on to the parched, dry earth. Soon, large parts of the country will be inaccessible to all vehicles but helicopters.

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