1.4 million malnourished children in South Sudan: Charity

1.4 million malnourished children in South Sudan: Charity


About 1.4 million children under five are suffering from malnutrition in South Sudan as they are hit by widespread flooding and inter-communal conflict, British charity Save the Children said on Friday.

The world’s youngest country to have a largely rural population is said to be reeling from “its worst hunger crisis” since independence from Sudan in 2011.

“The situation has worsened in recent months, with more than 615,000 people affected by an unprecedented fourth straight year of widespread flooding that destroyed homes and crops,” Save the Children said in a statement.

Cases of malaria and snakebite are also on the rise, with children and women being particularly hard hit.

The flooding, coupled with a vicious cycle of often deadly inter-ethnic conflict, has displaced thousands of people from their homes, the charity said, urging the international community “not to overlook South Sudan or divert funds to other crises.”

Around 909,000 people were affected by flooding in nine out of ten states, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Tuesday.

South Sudan, like many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, has suffered the effects of the war in Ukraine, which has pushed up world food and fuel prices.

The value of the local currency has also collapsed by almost 40 percent this year, Save the Children said.

The United Nations World Food Program warned in March that more than 70 percent of South Sudan’s 11 million people would face extreme hunger this year due to natural disasters and violence.

Save the Children called on leaders to attend November’s COP27 climate summit in Egypt to increase funding to help vulnerable communities and children build resilience to climate-related disasters and shocks.

“The first generation of children in South Sudan is now growing up and we must not disappoint them by allowing South Sudan to become a forgotten crisis,” said Country Director Jib Rabiltossaporn.

One of the world’s poorest nations, despite vast oil reserves, South Sudan has plunged from crisis to crisis since independence, spending almost half its life as a nation at war.

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