Aid agencies push drive to tackle malnutrition in South Sudan
Sep 22, 2015 Two United Nations agencies have intensified their efforts to prevent new cases of malnutrition in South Sudan. Food shortage has deepened in the country following months of fighting which has killed and displaced many.
Although the warring factions have recently embraced peace, the ripple effects of the prolonged conflict will take much more than a peace deal to reverse. In response to this, UNICEF and the World Food Programme (WFP) have launched a joint nutrition response plan covering all the states in South Sudan.
Since fighting broke out in December 2013, more than two million people have been uprooted from their homes, more than half of them children. The programme is expected to run till May 2016 and will offer treatment and prevent acute malnutrition in children, pregnant women and new mothers.
Speaking about the program Joyce Luma, Director for World Food Programme in the country said:
“We are committed to provide services across South Sudan, particularly focusing in the three conflict states because the rates are so high as well as in states which have very very high rates of malnutrition,”
The 20 months old conflict erupted after a power struggle between Rebel leader, Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir degenerated into full fledge arm standoff. However a peace deal was reach last month, following months of negotiations hosted by Ethiopia.
Molly Phee, the U.S. ambassador to South Sudan said:
“Every day that is lost to this war and to this conflict means another child is lost to the future of South Sudan. That is way it is so important for everybody to support the decision of the president, his Excellency Salva Kiir Mayardit, to sign a peace agreement and to work as hard as they can to implement the ceasefire and begin implementation of the agreement and the establishment of the transitional government,”
The nutrition programme, which is funded by donors including the European Commission, Japan, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States, is an attempt by the international community to assist the recovery of Africa’s youngest nation.