Conflict in South Sudan have been able to increase the risk the risk of famine that will kill up to 50,000 children within months if immediate action is not taken, the UN warned on Friday.
Since 2011 and since the independence of south Africa and the ethnic conflict that broke out between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and supporters of his former deputy Riek Machar the numbers of malnutrition ed children and increase of poverty and corruption have overwhelmed and increased significantly.
“Now the ongoing conflict has pushed them to the edge — unless treatment is scaled up immediately, up to 50,000 children under the age of five are likely to die,” the agency said. It estimates that 3.7 million people are at risk of “food insecurity.”
“Sadly, worse is yet to come. If conflict continues, and farmers miss the planting season, we will see child malnutrition on a scale never before experienced here,” said Jonathan Veitch, UNICEF representative in South Sudan. “If we cannot get more funds and better access to reach malnourished children in South Sudan, tens of thousands of under-fives will die.”
UNICEF’s immediate goal is to treat 150,000 severely malnourished children under five with food supplements, vitamins and water purification tablets, and to help pregnant or nursing women. To do so, it needs $38 million but has so far raised only $4.6 million.
More than 900,000 have been afffected and the numbers are increasing and the greed of the fighters have made them loot the World Food Program stocks in the country and have endangered harvests that are crucial to staving off a worse humanitarian disaster.