South Sudan: 20, 000 children may die before 2019 as results of conflict: group

Children lines up for food nutrition at Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, January 2018 (Photo credit: World Vision)

October 18th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – At least 20, 000 children in war-torn South Sudan may die before the end of 2018 due to effects of the ongoing conflict according to a new report released on Wednesday by a British aid organization.

The Save the Children, a British aid organization operating in South Sudan said the ongoing South Sudan conflict will lead to the death of the huge number of children if parties do not settle to resolve the conflict before the end of the year.

South Sudan descended into civil war in December 2013 following flare-up of violence during a national convention for the ruling party leading to a split in the army igniting a civil war fought along ethnic lines.

South Sudan President and opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon signed a permanent ceasefire agreement in June to end the ongoing conflict and to release detainees.

Last month, the two rivals turned peace partners signed the long waited revitalized agreement in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to end the five-year old brutal South Sudan conflict paving way for hope to end to the suffering there.

However, despite agreements and promises made by the South Sudanese parties, the fighting  has continued in most parts of the country despite report by peace monitors, CTSAMM including UNIMISS, that fighting has declined all over the country.

“As the lean season begins earlier than usual this year, 270,000 children in South Sudan are severely malnourished (SAM) and at risk of starvation. Some 20,000 could be expected to die from extreme hunger before the end of 2018,” the report of the aid group seen by the Nyamilepedia.

The report further said attacks on humanitarian aid workers by both parties to the South Sudan conflict has discouraged donor countries resulting to shortcomings in the funding putting the needy into trouble.

“Limited access by humanitarian organizations, coupled with reduced aid funding, makes it difficult to provide assistance to malnourished children. The South Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) is currently only halfway funded. This is compounded by violence against aid workers—nearly a third of all attacks in 2017 occurred in South Sudan, making it by far the most dangerous place in the world for humanitarians,” the report said.

The report further said children has acquired lack of immune system as result of malnutrition and are vulnerable to die.

“Malnourished children have substantially reduced immune systems and are at least three times more likely to contract and die from diseases like cholera and pneumonia than healthy children,” it added.

“Without urgent funding to increase and maintain humanitarian services, many children are in danger of dying,” it further said.

 

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