USD 34.8m needed, thousands of children at peril; UNICEF

By William Madouk Garang

Over 100 thousand children are at risk of dying from hunger besides 300 thousand others who are in need of lifesaving treatment in South Sudan, UNICEF Country representative, Hamida Lasseko said yesterday.

HUNICEF representative is now appealing for USD 34.8 million funding. He stated that there is an urgent need of help to avert food shortage and catastrophes in the upcoming three months.

Mr. Lasseko said only 20% of total requested (USD 183.6 million) was received which is not enough to aid the vulnerable population who are at peril, unless funds are raised.

According to UNICEF, global Child Alert on Severe Wasting, said lifesaving – ready to eat therapeutic food (RUTF) for underfed kids has risen by 16% in prices and express their perturb in 30% increases in number of children requiring RUTF in the country. 

“UNICEF is appealing for urgent funding. The humanitarian action for children (HAC) for 2022 has only received 20% of the US 183.6 million it needs; and US 34.8 million is needed for the next 3 months to avert a humanitarian catastrophe,” reads part of statement.

Consistently, South Sudan is rank among the world’s hungriest country with worrisome hunger number of 7.2 million people in food crisis, 2.4 million people at risk of famine if they don’t receive aid.

While an estimated 1.4 children suffering acute malnutrition, 483,000 malnourished pregnant or lactating women and 108,000 people at risk of famine-likely conditions, according to Concern Worldwide report 2022.

In a press release obtained by No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, Lasseko said they are struggling to mitigate food insecurity but lifting hand from partners would help to reverse deteriorating trends. 

“UNICEF remains committed to the last mile to mitigate against the severe impacts of floods and violence, and work to reverse deteriorating trends of malnutrition and disease through a package multi-sectoral actions that will save lives whilst building resilience of affected populations,” Lasseko stated.

“But we can’t do it without the funding from our current donors and partners and potential new partners. With so many crises soaking up the world’s attention, let us not forget the imminent and potentially catastrophic situation in South Sudan,” she pleaded.

Faced by climate related flooding which affects large parts of the country, children are the one who pay dearly for the outbreak of diseases such as diarrhea, Malaria, and acute respiratory infections.

Prolonged subnational violence which leads to colossal displacement puts children at menace of grave abuses, exploitation, separation and abduction – particularly for the most defenseless.

“With the pandemic and new pressures from global events impacting supply of basic commodities, increasing prices and disrupting supply chains, we are seeing this situation get worse. And our ability to respond facing further pressure,” she continued.

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