- The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has appealed for concerted efforts to curb the food shortages in parts of Southern Sudan, caused by poor rains and insecurity in the southern region.
The UNICEF’s Deputy Executive Director, Hilde F. Johnson has urged all the stakeholders to act on time to avert the worsening humanitarian crisis which is already affecting 1.5 million people across Southern Sudan.
During her fact-finding mission, Ms. Johnson visited communities in Jonglei State which has been the hardest hit by the food shortages, as well as by increased levels of insecurity.
She also traveled to Malakal, Akobo and Bor, where she visited therapeutic feeding centres and saw for herself the impact of food shortages on mothers and severely malnourished children.
“Children are the most vulnerable to nutritional shocks and they are the first to succumb when there is not enough food in the home or the community,” she noted.
UNICEF has responded to the crisis by providing therapeutic food through its partners which has been used to treat severely malnourished children in 79 therapeutic outreach centres across Southern Sudan supported by the agency.
Ms. Johnson welcomed the immediate response of the World Food Programme (WFP) to the problem, but also called on donors and the Government of Southern Sudan to increase their assistance.
Sudan has been ridden by violence with the southern government and the Khartoum government in the north have been seeking a final and binding arbitration on the issue.
The two sides began calls for the settlement of disputes after fresh fighting threatened the collapse of the CPA last year.
Under the CPA on the ensuing Abyei protocol, the south was granted a six-year transitional period of regional autonomy. The terms require the south and the Abyei region to hold referendums on their respective administrative status in 2011.
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