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Saturday, July 19, 2014


South Sudan: UN warns 50,000 children may die of malnutrition in war-torn country

by Martin Cuddihy (correspondent from Africa)     Thanks.

"Tens of thousands of children in the world's newest nation are on the brink of starvation.
The war in South Sudan has forced farmers from their land, closed supply routes and displaced almost 1 million people.
The United Nations is warning that without urgent help, as many as 50,000 children may die.
An appeal has been launched to help get aid into the country. A total of $1.8 billion is needed but so far only $600 million has been pledged.
"My child does not have any food to eat because there is no good food for her," one mother says. "I am the only one who normally eats."
When asked what it was she was eating that could not be fed to children, she goes quiet and then admits to foraging in the scrub to find grass and leaves.
Save The Children works in the rebel-held village of Akobo, handing out ultra-high calorie rations to the hungriest mouths.
Peter Walsh, director of the charity's South Sudan program, says the civil war has caused 4 million people to be food insecure and 2.5 million of those are children.

South Sudan enters 'hunger period'

Africa correspondent Martin Cuddihy describes the confronting scenes he encountered in Akobo:

"A 12-month-old girl is severely malnourished and is being assessed by aid workers. Her eyes are bulging and her head is skeletal.

"It looks like there is only skin covering her tiny bony limbs. The worst affected children get care at the rundown hospital in Akobo.

"This healthcare clinic in the far east of South Sudan is basic. There is a brown dog under one of the beds.

"The ward is staffed by the international medical corps. Thomas Ndambu is the nutritionist. He says this time of year is known locally as the hunger period.

"There are six children in the hospital when we visit. The ward can only deal with 15. "

Retrieved:  6:03 AM Australian time

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