By Daniel Deng Bol (Juba,South Sudan)According to the joint press release issued on Tuesday in Juba, three United Nations agencies leading the response to a dire hunger and nutrition crisis in South Sudan welcomed a US$50 million donation from the World Bank to address food insecurity and malnutrition in the country.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) said the World Bank’s support, channeled through South Sudan’s Ministry of Agriculture, is vital to maintain the momentum of helping millions of men, women and children who would face starvation without sustained assistance.
Thanks to a massive emergency response, including large-scale food and nutrition assistance, famine conditions in South Sudan have abated. However, six million people still do not know where their next meal will come from. Across the country, more than 1.1 million children are estimated to suffer from malnutrition, with almost 290,000 severely malnourished in need of urgent humanitarian aid.
“With half of South Sudan’s population struggling to feed itself and more than one million children suffering from acute malnutrition, this is vital assistance that will save many lives, while helping communities to help themselves,” said Mahimbo Mdoe, UNICEF’s Representative in South Sudan.
UNICEF’s efforts to prevent and treat severe acute malnutrition in children will be significantly scaled up over the next year because of the donation from the World Bank of over US$16 million.
“The contribution from the World Bank is a step in the right direction towards ending hunger and malnutrition, which both threaten lives and are impediments to child development,” said Adnan Khan, WFP Representative in South Sudan.
WFP will receive nearly US$26 million for food and nutrition assistance to 110,000 people particularly in areas with acute hunger and threatened by famine.
“Thanks to the funding from the World Bank, we can work towards a sustainable future by supporting the most vulnerable farmers, pastoralists and fisher folk rebuild their livelihoods,” said Serge Tissot, FAO’s Representative in South Sudan.
FAO will receive nearly US$8 million to support the recovery of crop, livestock and fisheries production in areas hard hit by food insecurity. By restoring their livelihoods, ending hunger and extreme poverty can become a reality.
The World Bank, through this contribution, is supporting the government’s South Sudan Emergency Food and Nutrition Security Project to ensure an integrated response to crisis levels of food insecurity and malnutrition across South Sudan, and especially informer Upper Nile, Jonglei and Unity states.
The UN agencies will have individual agreements with the Government but will work closely together in the emergency response.
WFP has assisted 4.2 million people in South Sudan so far, this year – the highest number of people reached by WFP in South Sudan since independence. In July, WFP provided food and nutrition assistance for 2.9 million people.
FAO has assisted 3.9 million people with emergency livelihood kits (fishing, vegetable and crop), and reached 3.1 million livestock under an animal health campaign. In the coming months, FAO will be scaling up its response to farmers in the second planting season in the Equatorias.
UNICEF has ensured 1.5million children (aged 6 to 59months) received vitamin A supplementation, and more than 1.1 million children (aged 12 to 59 months) received Albandazole-deworming tablets, in 2017. UNICEF has also assisted more than 120,000 children since January this year, who were admitted into outpatient therapeutic programmes and stabilization centre services across the country for the treatment of severe acute malnutrition.
Tim Irwin, UNICEF South Sudan, +211 912 162 888, email@example.com
Lieke Visser, FAO South Sudan, +211 922 001 661, Lieke.Visser@fao.org
George Fominyen, WFP/Juba, +211 922 465 247, George.Fominyen@wfp.org
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
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WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.
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FAO leads international efforts to defeat hunger. It helps countries to modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition for all. FAO focuses special attention on developing rural areas, home to 70 percent of the world’s poor and hungry people. For more information visit: www.fao.org or follow FAO on Twitter @FAOnews @FAOSouthSudan