Without urgent help, children will suffer the most in South Sudan

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

United Nations predicts sad and devastating consequences for children of world’s newest country if action not quickly taken

50,000 South Sudanese children could die this year if assistance doesn’t come soon.

That was the blunt message hammered home by the United Nations during a recent appeal for increased funding to help people affected by South Sudan’s ongoing violence.

In South Sudan, thousands of people have been killed by a violent conflict that swept the country back in December 2013. An estimated 400,000 have fled the country, and an additional one million are displaced within the country.

“When people are displaced, they aren’t at home planting the crops they need to survive, and the consequences may be devastating,” says Canadian Foodgrains Bank International Programs Director Grant Hillier.

Nearly all of South Sudan’s population are small-scale farmers who depend on being able to grow a crop to survive. Not being able to plant because of violent conflict is having a severe impact on families struggling to survive, an impact that, unless something is done, will only increase.

Thousands of people are living in over-crowded camps.

Children whose growing bodies are deprived of proper food and nutrition, such as the children living in such camps, don’t have the strength to fight off such disease and bacteria.

“A lack of food, combined with the cholera and unsanitary conditions of many camps for internally displaced people, means that children are the ones who suffer the most,” adds Hillier.

 “Simply put, if assistance doesn’t come soon, these children will die.”

The Foodgrains Bank, through its members, is responding.

ADRA Canada, supported by Presbyterian World Service & Development and The United Church of Canada, is providing food vouchers to displaced people in Budi County. The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund and Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace are also planning responses. World Relief Canada recently completed an emergency feeding program for displaced people as well.

–Amanda Thorsteinsson, Communications Officer

For more information on the crisis in South Sudan or to make a gift that will help people in South Sudan, click here.