On July 17 a very rare thing happened in the world of humanitarian relief. Eight organizations that typically compete for donor dollars joined forces to launch a joint appeal to raise funds and awareness around a global food crisis.

Some 20 million people in four countries— South Sudan, Yemen, Nigeria and Somalia — face acute food scarcity. South Sudan even experienced a famine for a period of time this year. Facing funding shortages and relatively little popular awareness of this crisis, these NGOs formed that they are calling the Global Emergency Response Coalition.

On the line with me to discuss the reasons that this coalition formed is Deepmala Mahla, the country director for Mercy Corps in South Sudan. (Mercy Corps is one of the eight members of the coalition.) She explains the food crisis across these four countries and discusses at length the situation in South Sudan. Deepmala also describes in detail her work delivering humanitarian relief to vulnerable populations in South Sudan.

This is a valuable and timely conversation about an issue that is far too overlooked in the mainstream media.

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