Tens of thousands of South Sudanese under the age of five could die this year and nearly a quarter of a million children will suffer severe acute malnutrition unless food and medical aid are stepped up immediately, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned yesterday. “Many children in South Sudan already faced emergency levels of under-nutrition in the two and a half years since independence in 2011,” UNICEF said in a statement.
As EIR has emphasized, South Sudan is the potential breadbasket of the country and the continent—but imperial financial strangulation and geo-political maneuvers, including the breakup of Sudan itself, have totally sabotaged this potential.
See LaRouchePAC’s page on how the British Empire still rules the planet.
Conditions have worsened since ethnic conflict broke out between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and supporters of his former deputy Riek Machar. UNICEF estimates that 3.7 million people in South Sudan 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 spokeswoman Doune Porter said children who have been forced from their homes by four months of fighting face the greatest risk of severe acute malnutrition. Many have already resorted to eating what UNICEF and other aid agencies call “famine foods” — wild roots, bulbs, grasses and berries. The onset of the rainy season will only make things worse, Porter said.
Porter said UNICEF and its partners are sending emergency teams to some more remote areas to try to pre-position food and provide treatment for malnutrition.