News / Africa

Hunger Could Kill 50,000 South Sudanese Children This Year, UNICEF Warns

A woman stands with her daughter in the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) clinic at the camp for  displaced people on the grounds of the United Nations Mission to South Sudan base in Juba, South Sudan, on January 12, 2014.
A woman stands with her daughter in the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) clinic at the camp for displaced people on the grounds of the United Nations Mission to South Sudan base in Juba, South Sudan, on January 12, 2014.
Mugume Davis Rwakaringi
Tens of thousands of South Sudanese under the age of five could die this year and nearly a quarter of a million children will suffer severe acute malnutrition unless food and medical aid are stepped up immediately, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) warned Friday.

"Many children in South Sudan already faced emergency levels of under-nutrition in the two and a half years since independence in 2011," UNICEF said in a statement.

"Now the on-going conflict has pushed them to the edge – unless treatment is scaled up immediately. Up to 50,000 children under the age of five are likely to die," UNICEF declared. 

UNICEF spokeswoman Doune Porter said children who have been forced from their homes by four months of fighting face the greatest risk of severe acute malnutrition. Many have already resorted to eating what UNICEF and other aid agencies call "famine foods" -- wild roots, bulbs, grasses and berries. The onset of the rainy season will only make things worse, Porter said.

"Diarrheal diseases are likely to increase. That makes children more vulnerable to malnutrition, because they are not absorbing what they are able to eat,” she said.
Unless treatment is scaled up immediately, up to 50,000 children under the age of five are likely to die.
The UN has reached more than 500,000 people with emergency food assistance, but officials estimate as many as 3.7 million people face severe food insecurity and need aid.

Porter said the on-going fighting has destroyed infrastructure around the country, including an estimated one-third of South Sudan's 336 malnutrition treatment centers.

"Health care services have been enormously disrupted by the conflict. Many families, many children have little - or in many cases - no access to health care services," she said.

UNICEF representative in South Sudan Jonathan Veitch warned that if the four-month-old conflict continues, farmers will miss the planting season and "we will see child malnutrition on a scale never before experienced here.”
 
A displaced woman stirs fortified cereal mix at the U.N. compound where she has sought shelter in Juba, Dec. 23, 2013.A displaced woman stirs fortified cereal mix at the U.N. compound where she has sought shelter in Juba, Dec. 23, 2013.
x
A displaced woman stirs fortified cereal mix at the U.N. compound where she has sought shelter in Juba, Dec. 23, 2013.
A displaced woman stirs fortified cereal mix at the U.N. compound where she has sought shelter in Juba, Dec. 23, 2013.
Porter said UNICEF and its partners are sending emergency teams to some of the country’s more remote areas to try to pre-position food and provide treatment for malnutrition.

They have already reached three counties in the country’s northeast and will try to get to three more areas this month, she said, adding that it is unlikely they will be able to reach everyone.

Dr. Lul Riek, the international health coordinator at the South Sudan Ministry of Health, acknowledged that many health care facilities have been destroyed in the fighting and medical workers have fled. That means it "has become a big challenge" to provide care for the people, including South Sudan's children.

Riek said the only clear solution to the health and crises would be for both sides to immediately stop fighting.

You May Like

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to an enhancement or regression of democracy on the Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mapiel-Dit from: juba
April 12, 2014 7:06 AM
Its absolutely absurdity for such a situation to repeat itself. I'm reminded of the bor tragedy in 1992 after the same riek revolution within revolution against his suppose people to rule had claims thousands of innocents lives and destruction of their livelihoods which resulted into a severe hunger.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid