25 January 2013: US$88.4 million needed for children affected by humanitarian crisis in South Sudan
JUBA, 25 January 2013 – UNICEF South Sudan appealed today for US$88.4 million as part of UNICEF’s global launch of Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC) 2013 in Geneva. HAC 2013 highlights the challenges children face, identifies the support required to help these children, shows achievements by UNICEF and partners in 2012 and emphasizes what is required to ensure that children in humanitarian situations survive and thrive.
“Children are extremely vulnerable in emergencies, often living in unhealthy and unsafe conditions, at high risk of disease, violence, exploitation and neglect,” said Ted Chaiban, UNICEF’s Director of the Office of Emergency Programmes during the global launch. “Contributions to the appeal are sound investments in children and their futures.”
In 2012, children in South Sudan faced numerous challenges as humanitarian needs remained consistently high throughout the year due to unresolved political issues between the Republic of South Sudan and the Sudan, inter-communal conflict and flooding. The number of people in need of food assistance doubled from 1.2 to 2.4 million due to deterioration in food security resulting in severe malnutrition at persistently high levels.
The continued influx of Sudanese refugees and insecurity continues to have a major impact on the humanitarian operation. Over 175,000 refugees have fled Sudan to Upper Nile and Unity states in South Sudan. Inter-communal fighting and insecurity saw the large-scale displacement of more than 170,000 people. Close to 100,000 people remain displaced from the contested Abyei area since May 2011.
South Sudan remains one of the most challenging countries for a child to be born in. According to the Sudan Household Health Survey (SHHS 2010), one out of every nine children die before their fifth birthday, only 10% of children are fully immunized, an estimated 200,000 children under 5 are at risk of suffering from malnutrition and the primary completion rate is only 10% - one of the lowest in the world. These statistics are alarming and call for a joint response from governments, UN agencies, I/NGOs and communities to ensure that children survive and have access to basic services.
In 2012, more than 70,000 children under 5 were treated for severe acute malnutrition; a million people were provided access to emergency health supplies and drugs; more than 300,000 children were provided access to safe water ; over 10,000 children were offered family tracing and reunification services and psychosocial support; and 3,000 children were provided temporary learning spaces in camps to address their learning needs. UNICEF South Sudan was able to reach these vulnerable children in close collaboration with government, UN agencies and other partners.
“I feel safe in the camp and no longer have to live in fear. I am happy that my family and I have food and that I can go to school. Education is even more important than shoes,” said 12 year old Radwan Al Fahil, a Sudanese refugee in Maban County, home to over 100,000 refugees from Sudan.” I would rather be in class with bare feet than have new shoes.”
With the on-going conflicts in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States of neighbouring Sudan, the humanitarian needs are likely to remain high this year, as more people seek refuge in South Sudan. Continued austerity will worsen food security, increase poverty, raise child mortality and reduce school attendance. The refugee needs represent US$10 million of the total appeal which includes a multi sector response and core humanitarian supplies in the areas of WASH, Nutrition and Education.
“Given the increasing needs, much more has to be done to ensure that every child has the opportunity to survive and thrive, particularly the children affected by emergencies,” said UNICEF’s Representative, Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque. “We are thankful for the generous contributions from donors over the past year and we look forward to more donor support in 2013.”
UNICEF South Sudan appeals for US$88.4 million to meet the needs of close to 3 million vulnerable people in the areas of Health & Nutrition, Water, Sanitation & Hygiene, Education and Child Protection.
UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
For more information about UNICEF South Sudan and its work visit: http://www.unicef.org/southsudan
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For more information, please contact:
Siddhartha (Sid) Shrestha, Chief, Strategic Communication, UNICEF South Sudan.
Tel: +211 (0)925007005 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mercy Kolok, Communication Officer, UNICEF South Sudan
Tel: + 211 (0) 955639658 Email: email@example.com