UNICEF welcomes Japan’s contribution to tackle the nutrition crisis in South Sudan
Juba, South Sudan 15 March 2021 – The Government of Japan has donated USD 2 million to UNICEF in response to the food and nutrition crisis unfolding in South Sudan. An estimated 1.4 million children will suffer from acute malnutrition in 2021. 300,000 of them will suffer from the most severe form of malnutrition which can cause death if left untreated.
The contribution from Japan will be used for screening and treatment of severe acute malnutrition (SAM), including procurement and distribution of ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF)- UNICEF’s main ‘medicine’ for SAM.
In the last two years, South Sudan has experienced severe flooding. The forecast for 2021 suggests heavy rain across the region with high likelihood of floods. With rivers breaching their banks, comes higher prevalence of malaria and acute watery diarrhoea- some of the main causes of malnutrition in children. The rain is expected to start in April when food insecurity is also projected to deteriorate.
“The contribution from Japan is apt as the worst is yet to come,” said Hamida Lasseko UNICEF South Sudan Representative. “UNICEF is taking advantage of the dry season to preposition RUTF with a special focus on flood prone areas. Avoiding breaks in the nutrition supply pipeline will be essential for saving lives in 2021.”
1.4 million children suffering from acute malnutrition is an all-time high in the history of South Sudan and no effort must be spared to help the children. However, more needs to be done to prevent children from becoming malnourished in the first place. UNICEF is working with communities on increasing knowledge on good infant and young child feeding practises as well as identifying both nutritious and affordable food available in the local markets.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work in South Sudan visit: www.unicef.org/southsudan