All together to prevent child malnutrition
Malnourished children need treatment, but it’s even better to avoid children becoming malnourished
1.4 million children in South Sudan are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2021, the highest number since independence ten years ago. More than 300,000 children will suffer from severe acute malnutrition and are at risk of dying. UNICEF and partners are providing therapeutic treatment and saving their lives.
But, wouldn’t it be better to avoid these children becoming malnourished in the first place? While treating children suffering from acute malnutrition remains critically important, UNICEF calls for larger, long-term and predictable investments in reduction of malnutrition in children through a multisectoral response, linking nutrition, agriculture, health, water, sanitation and hygiene and social protection services. UNICEF calls the Government of South Sudan, the donor community as well as the implementing partners to be part of a joint commitment to prioritize the reduction of malnutrition among children.
Throughout South Sudan, UNICEF is rolling out programmes together with its partners to respond to the nutrition crisis the country is going through, while setting up intervention that can help reduce the levels of malnutrition in the country. Malnutrition is complex. It is not only about the lack of food, which is sadly still prevalent in South Sudan, but it is also about the quality of food, diversity of food given to children, ensuring every child gets the nutrients they need to grow, develop and reach their full potential. Tackling malnutrition also requires addressing underlying causes such as malaria and diarrheal diseases caused by a lack of clean water, sanitation and hygiene.