JUBA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a € 500,000 contribution towards the fight against malnutrition in South Sudan where 1.3 million children under the age of five are expected to be acutely malnourished and in need of urgent treatment this year.
The contribution will be used to provide over 170 metric tons of special nutritious products for 29,000 people, including vulnerable children and pregnant or nursing women in the country.
“After last year’s floods, we knew that food insecurity situation will worsen; and that the most vulnerable, with special nutrition needs, will be impacted the most,” says Marc Trouyet, French Ambassador to South Sudan. “After discussion with WFP, we decided to focus France’s support towards people affected by the floods and with special nutritious needs.”
Malnutrition is worsening in South Sudan with 1.3 million children under the age of five expected to be acutely malnourished and in need of treatment in 2020 compared to 860,000 in 2019. Acute malnutrition among children rose particularly in Jonglei and Upper Nile regions hit by the 2019 floods and where acute malnutrition now exceeds the emergency threshold.
“WFP is grateful for the support of the Republic of France,” says Matthew Hollingworth, WFP’s Country Director in South Sudan. “The funds come at a crucial time. Needs are high, and we must ramp up our efforts if we are to rescue an already worsening situation, exacerbated now by the looming COVID-19 crisis.”
“The numbers of children expected to be acutely malnourished this year are indicative of a looming nutritional emergency that has to be addressed urgently and extensively. Treatment is urgently required while prevention measures are expanded particularly in areas affected by last autumn’s floods,” he added.
WFP provides nutrition support through special nutritious products for the prevention and treatment of malnutrition among children and pregnant or nursing women. Through its preventative and curative nutrition programmes, WFP builds the resilience of individuals and households to respond to nutritional shocks through education and providing resources.
In 2019, WFP reached more than 1.4 million malnourished pregnant and nursing women and children under 5 with assistance. To strengthen nutrition capacity, WFP provided technical assistance and training to over 1,000 government and national partner staff while supporting 1,500 health centres including in areas with particularly high levels of acute malnutrition.
The Government of France is a long-standing partner of WFP. The latest contribution brings France’s contributions to WFP’s work across South Sudan to US$1.3 million since 2014.