South Sudan: Threat of Child Malnutrition Soars as 'Lean Season' Approaches
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (May 29, 2015) — An estimated 4.6 million people are currently facing severe hunger in South Sudan, according to the latest IPC (Integrated Food Security Phase Classification) report launched this week.
The statistics demonstrate a significant deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the world’s youngest country, with almost double the number of people now severely affected by hunger as compared to the first quarter of 2015.
“We are deeply concerned by the rising rate and scale of hunger — this situation will only serve to exacerbate the risks of malnutrition among children, with troubling longer term implications on their cognitive, motor, and social-emotional development,” warns Machiel Pouw, acting country director for Save the Children South Sudan.
“Malnutrition is also associated with a third of all child-related deaths in South Sudan — a tragic statistic only set to rise, and one that is already having a devastating impact on children, particularly those under five.”
The inability of the population to farm due to on-going violence and displacement has led to empty emergency grain stores and high food prices, with the situation expected to worsen in the coming months as the protracted conflict continues and the long rainy, or ‘lean’, season approaches.
At present, 35 counties in the three conflict-affected states have already reported critical food shortages.
Save the Children currently provides lifesaving care as well as therapeutic feeding and supplementary feeding for acutely malnourished children. In addition, the agency’s nutrition teams support infant and young child feeding programs and carry out continuous community surveillance.
Through emergency nutrition programming, Save the Children has reached over 57,000 people in South Sudan this year.
How You Can Help
Please give generously to help us feed and protect children and provide desperately needed relief to families. Donate now to the South Sudan Children in Crisis Fund.
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