An hour and a half northeast of South Sudan's capital Juba by light plane, near the border with Ethiopia, the parched red earth below is dotted with bright green trees. Within weeks, the wet season rains will turn this 'runway' or strip of bare earth that we land on, into a muddy quagmire, making access incredibly difficult. Travelling by four wheel drive to one of Save the Children's treatment centres for malnourished young children, we travel down a picturesque avenue of trees, their canopies providing welcome relief from the hot day.
It's just one week on from the launch of DEC's East Africa Crisis Appeal and we have been completely overwhelmed by the incredible response from the British public. We've also had generous donations from the UK government, trusts and companies and many high profile figures, including the Queen and Prince Charles. To date, a staggering £32 million has been raised for East Africa... Sadly, though the scale of this response also reflects the severity of the situation; hunger is looming on a massive scale across East Africa.
What does it take to galvanise international action - and funding - for such a crisis? The great tragedy is that in South Sudan's recent history this situation is not an aberration but the norm. The last civil war lasted from 1983-2004 in which 2 million people died. The Darfur conflict, beginning in 2003, still burns away.
Walking into the CARE supported clinic in Pariang, I see a little girl with edema - her belly is swollen because she hasn't got enough to eat. It's been a long time since I've seen a child with edema, and I certainly didn't expect to see one in this part of the country. Of all the places that CARE supports health care, Pariang, in Unity state, has traditionally been the least food insecure.