A Caritas aid worker holds a food voucher before presenting it to a beneficiary. Photo by: CAFOD Photo Library / CC BY-NC-ND

“The largest question I was asked since being here was: ‘Can we do this? Can we solve the famine,’” said Alejandro Guzman, head of the World Food Programme’s emergency response unit in South Sudan.

In February 2017, when famine was declared in two counties in South Sudan — the world’s youngest nation — the 30-year-old Venezuelan-American found himself at the center of the crisis. South Sudanese government officials and the international community questioned Guzman, urgently, about whether WFP was capable of pulling 100,000 people out of starvation.

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About the author

  • Sam mednick profile

    Sam Mednick

    Sam is a Devex Contributor based in South Sudan. Over the past 12 years she’s reported on conflict, post-conflict, and development stories from the Middle East, Africa, Asia, South America, and Europe. Her work has appeared in Devex, the Associated Press, VICE, The Guardian, Foreign Policy, and The New Humanitarian, among others. Sam also produces and hosts the Happiness at Work Podcast, interviewing authors, speakers and thought leaders about what it takes to live productive and fulfilling lives.