WFP, UNICEF Launch Joint Nutrition Response for South Sudan

UNICEF, UNWFP, South Sudan Ministry of Health and other health partners operating in South Sudan launched a long term Joint Strategic Nutrition Response Plan for South Sudan on Wednesday to fight malnutrition among children under 5 years, lactating mothers and breastfeeding mothers.

By Agoth Abraham

The plan is meant to target over 250,000 children suffering with malnutrition cases across the country.

The event was attended by European, Western Ambassadors together with donors and country directors of implementing agencies to witness the launch in Aweil on Wednesday.

Jonathan Vietch, UNICEF country representative in Aweil said that the delegation of five ambassadors from US, Germany, Norway, Japan and Netherlands together with donors’ team came on ground to witness the implementation of project in Aweil.

While addressing the press at the nutrition site in Madunay, Jonathan Vietch expressed the alarming situation of malnutrition cases in Aweil and Warrap States in South Sudan.

“We have come here with our main partners, nutrition partner, WFP. So between UNICEF and WFP we are launching the second year of scale up programme of nutrition in the country. We came here with lots of partners and donors, 5 ambassadors have joined us in this trip to look at the situation of malnutrition in NBG because this is one of the burdened States in the country where there are lots of children with severe acute malnutrition. So we had a program here to try and reach so many children as possible and we have seen at the clinic today, we have lots of children but thankfully, they’re getting better treatment.” He reiterated.

He said within this one year, the two agencies will make sure that 250, 000 beneficiaries are reached with nutrition supports across the country.

“250, 000 with severe acute malnutrition and lots more than that millions and millions with moderate malnutrition and lots more than that for general food distribution, it is extremely difficult in three conflict affected states because there is very limited access, and we don’t know what the situation is in many parts of the unity state for example, whether they have been displaced many times and we don’t what situation there in. so we really need to get in and as you see our trained health workers and social mobilizers get into communities so that these children can be treated.” He stressed.

Whereas his counterpart partnering agency’s country Director of WFP, Joyce Kanyangwa said the two agencies will work closely to bridge the gap caused by malnutrition in the country.

“NBG has very very high severe acute malnutrition above 15%, above emergency response rate and this is not just caused by war but there things like lack of food, sanitation, lack of care and lack of education. And that is why UNICEF and WFP are coming together to ensure these addressed jointly.” She said.

Nutrition officer, Mayom Biar warns the parents not to keep their children at home when they start showing signs of malnutrition as the last stage leads to death.

Nutrition officer John Silvio who works for the implementing agency, Concern Worldwide underscores the importance of the RUFT foods they’re giving children to have basic food components that are helpful to human body.

“We encourage the community in order to bring their children to be registered and treated because in the RUTF, the plumpy nuts they are saying is not just food, it contains all the food values and some medicines which will help them because children who are malnourished even adults their immune system is low receiving the food from the health facility helps them a lot to improve their immune system.” He added.

NBG residents including organized forces, Police, Fire brigade, Wildlife, Prisons Service, civil society organizations and international humanitarian organizations jointly marched from Sika-hadid on Wednesday to freedom square singing songs of eradicating malnutrition among children under 5 years of age.

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