Over 1 million children are estimated to be acutely malnourished in South Sudan, reports NaijaAgroNet, according to the UNICEF Representative in South Sudan, Jeremy Hopkins.

In addition, Hopkins disclosed that over a quarter of a million children are already severely malnourished.

“If we do not reach these children with urgent aid many of them will die. We urge all parties to allow humanitarian organizations unrestricted access to the affected populations, so we can assist the most vulnerable and prevent yet another humanitarian catastrophe,” he said.

NaijaAgroNetgathered that this is coming as the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) recent report estimated that 14 of the 23 assessed counties have global acute malnutrition (GAM) at or above the emergency threshold of 15 per cent, with some areas as high as 42 per cent.  

For the World Food Programme (WFP) Country Director, Joyce Luma, this Sudan situation is a man-made crisis.

“This famine is man-made. WFP and the entire humanitarian community have been trying with all our might to avoid this catastrophe, mounting a humanitarian response of a scale that quite frankly would have seemed impossible three years ago. But we have also warned that there is only so much that humanitarian assistance can achieve in the absence of meaningful peace and security, both for relief workers and the crisis-affected people they serve,” she said, insisting “We will continue doing everything we possibly can to hold off and reverse the spread of famine.”

Across the country, she noted, three years of conflict have severely undermined crop production and rural livelihoods.

“The upsurge in violence since July 2016 has further devastated food production, including in previously stable areas. Soaring inflation – up to 800 percent year-on-year – and market failure have also hit areas that traditionally rely on markets to meet food needs. Urban populations are also struggling to cope with massive price rises on basic food items,” she said.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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This post was originally published at Naija AgroNet and has been republished with permission.

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