USAID provides $ 25M funding to UNICEF in the fight against malnutrition in South Sudan
97,600 cartons of therapeutic food handed over to treat children suffering from the most severe form of malnutrition
JUBA, South Sudan, 9 June 2021 – Today, 97,600 cartons of ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) were handed over by USAID to UNICEF. These supplies are part of an overall funding contribution of USAID of $ 25 million to prevent and fight malnutrition in South Sudan.
The contribution of USAID comes timely as South Sudan is faced with the highest levels of malnutrition among children in a decade, with 1.4 million children expected to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2021.
With the support of USAID, UNICEF and partners will be able to ensure early screening for malnutrition of 2.2 million children and provide them with adequate assistance.
97,600 children suffering from the worst form of malnutrition and at risk of dying will be provided with therapeutic food. This will allow UNICEF and partner to save the lives of many children, as 95% of the children suffering from severe acute malnutrition treated with therapeutic food recover.
“According to the most recent UN assessments, 1.4 million children under 5 years are acutely malnourished, including more than 310,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition,” said Haven Cruz-Hubbard, USAID Mission Director. “USAID's partnership with UNICEF is critical in the treatment of children with severe acute malnutrition. In 2020, USAID funding for ready to use therapeutic food treated 52% of all children admitted with severe acute malnutrition in South Sudan.”
The cartons of therapeutic food handed over today will be dispatched quickly throughout the country to more than 1,000 nutrition centres where UNICEF and partners are screening children for malnutrition and providing therapeutic assistance to those in need. Pre-positioning of these supplies is essential as with the upcoming rainy season and floods, large parts of the country will become difficult of access.
No child should have to suffer from malnutrition. Hence, we need to increase the focus on prevention. Thanks to the funding of USAID, more than one million mothers, fathers and caregivers of children below 24 months will benefit from Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition Counselling, giving them the necessary knowledge and skills to prevent their children from falling into malnutrition.
‘We are grateful for the continued support of USAID in the prevention of malnutrition as well as the treatment,” said Andrea Suley, UNICEF South Sudan Representative a.i. “UNICEF is committed to assist all the children in need while promoting a cross-sectoral approach addressing all the underlying factors of malnutrition.”
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