Sudan: Tragedy Times Three

If problems come in threes, the people of the southern Sudan have them all -- drought and famine made worse by civil war. It's a familiar and lethal mix, reports CBS News Correspondent Mark Phillips.

In this vast, remote stretch of country about the size of Texas and California combined, another East African human catastrophe is at hand. The rains haven't come, the crops have failed again and more than a million people -- mostly the very old and the very young -- are at risk.

Here, the ground is dug up not to plant crops but to bury the dead. And because there's a war going on and relief flights are frequently disrupted, aid workers like Ylva Stromberg are fighting a battle to save the few, while many die around her.

Â"I donÂ't know why a child should have to look like this,Â" says Stromberg. Â"ItÂ's horrible that you have children looking like the children around here, they're small skeletons with bellies, then you think, how in the world can anyone look like this?Â"

However, the aid workers have learned that famine in Africa no longer has the shock value it once did.

Pictures could once instantly mobilize the world. Now it is more difficult to get governments to care says Save the ChildrenÂ's Dee O'Oconnell, who has just returned from Sudan.

Â"These situations don't just suddenly happen, you know they've been building up.. .It neednÂ't have gotten to this stage,Â" she says.

Unless massive aid is moved into the region -- and unless outside governments apply enough pressure to ensure the relief flights do fly -- it will get worse before it gets better.

Reported by Mark Phillips
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