Thousands of children in South Sudan face starvation—-UNICEF

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Ebola UNICEF trains 5000 Nigeria teachersJUBA – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Wednesday that thousands of children under the age of five are at risk of dying from malnutrition in South Sudan.

Jonathan Veitch, UNICEF representative in South Sudan said in Juba that more than 1.5 million people would be at crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity from September through December.

“Thousands of malnourished children who have not yet been reached remain in peril,” he said.

Veitch said the latest analysis conducted by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) group of experts indicated that in spite of temporary improvements in the food security situation, the outlook for 2015 remains dire.

He said estimates showed that 2.5 million people would be at crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity from January to March.

Veitch said children, who are most vulnerable to food shortages, are at even greater risk.

“We have to take advantage of the coming dry season and passable roads to preposition life-saving supplies for the treatment of children suffering from malnutrition.

“It is critical that we are able to accelerate our response during this window of opportunity,” he added.

Veitch said malnutrition, however, especially among young children, was not mirroring improvements in food security because of high rates of disease, lack of safe water and lack of access to basic health care.

“Diarrhoea and other illnesses prevent children from absorbing nutrients, so even where there is improved access to food, children can still be dangerously malnourished,’’ he said [eap_ad_2] .“Since April, UNICEF has reached more than 55,000 children under five with treatment for severe acute malnutrition and anticipates that, with its continued scaling up of services, it will reach 120, 000 by the end of this year,’’ he added.

.Veitch said it was very difficult to deliver aid to those in conflict- ridden areas and the 1.4 million people who are internally displaced, and more than half of whom are children.

He said scaling up its humanitarian assistance in South Sudan, UNICEF has expanded its partnerships on the ground, adding new national and international non-governmental organisation partners including collaborations with the World Food Program (WFP).

Veitch said UNICEF urgently needs 25 million dollars to continue to scale up its nutrition response and to provide life-saving nutrition supplies during the coming dry season, UNICEF said. (Xinhua-NAN) [eap_ad_3]

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