Juba, South Sudan,
June 10, 2021 – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has injected $25 million through the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to tackle severe malnutrition looming for more than one million children in South Sudan.
USAID also delivered 97,600 cartons of ready-to-use therapeutic food. It says the supplies are part of the overall funding contribution to prevent and fight malnutrition in the country.
In a statement extended to Nyamilepedia, UNICEF hailed the timing of the contribution, which came as over a million children are on the edge of acute malnutrition.
“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,” it says.
UNICEF says with the support of USAID, it will, together with partners, be able to ensure early screening for malnutrition of 2.2 million children and provide them with adequate assistance.
The UN Agency revealed that there are 97,600 children suffering from the worst form of malnutrition and at risk of dying in the country. UNICEF says the provision of therapeutic food may help.
“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,” it said.
USAID Mission Director Haven Cruz-Hubbard underscored the critical importance of partnership with UNICEF in fighting malnutrition in South Sudan.
“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 Hubbard.
“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,” Hubbard added.
A statement posted on UNICEF’s website says the cartons of therapeutic food handed over today [Wednesday] will be dispatched quickly throughout the country to more than 1,000 nutrition centers 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,” UNICEF says.
UNICEF Country Representative for South Sudan, Andrea Suley, expressed gratitude for the support rendered by USAID.
‘We are grateful for the continued support of USAID in the prevention of malnutrition as well as the treatment,” said Suley.
“UNICEF is committed to assist all the children in need while promoting a cross-sectoral approach addressing all the underlying factors of malnutrition,” Suley added.