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UNICEF appeals for USD 180M for children

By: Wek Atak Kacjang

The United Nations Children Agency (UNICEF) is appealing for USD 180 million to respond to the most immediate needs of women and children in the country next year.

According to UNICEF strategy report, 4.1 million children in South Sudan would need urgent assistance in 2020. The organization said years of conflict have destroyed critical infrastructure hindering access to basic services such as clean water, healthcare and education.

Gender –based violence is prevalent and unaccompanied children are at risk of exploitation and abuse. The unresolved political conflict and lack of essential services prevents displaced people from returning home to rebuild their lives.

UNICEF Representative, Mohamed Ag Ayoya said they have been providing services for years and that it was their first time to appeal for assistance.

He said they wanted to put this needs higher on the global agenda.

“With only 50 dollars per child, UNICEF will be able to reach 3.43 million children across the country. That is over 80 percent of all the children with immediate humanitarian needs in South Sudan,” Ayoya said.

He disclosed that in 2019 UNICEF and partners were able to treat 186,000 children for severe acute malnutrition, vaccinated 430,000 children against measles and delivered education services to over 600,000 children.

Ayoya said these were done without full funding which he said somewhere they were forced to stop delivering services due to lack of fund.

“We need all donors to step forward, partners to step up and together do our outmost for children in South Sudan, I am 100 percent sure that children growing up in South Sudan have no role in the situation in the country yet they are paying the highest price with their futures,” he said.

“We need to continue to invest in the child generation, ensuring they are not only surviving but thriving, for that we need all partners and all donors to take part,” Ayoya added.

He revealed that UNICEF will actively reach out to communities providing sustained access to life saving information including promotion of child rights empowering people to cope up with various challenges.

“UNICEF is rallying support for breaking the cycle of malnutrition in South Sudan. We have teamed up with World Food Programmed to tackle this full front and from all angles in 2020 if adequate funding is secured.  2.4 million people engaged in communities across the country next year,” Ayoya explained.

UNICEF Chief of Field Operation, Mads Oyen said in South Sudan about 7.5 million children have limited access to different basic services due to malnourishment.

“There are 2.2 million refugees in neighboring countries and 1.5 million people are internally displaced due to conflict and 1.3 million are in acute malnutrition. This includes 292,000 children under five years of age suffering from severe acute malnutrition,” Oyen said.

He added that there were over 900,000 children suffering from psychosocial problems due to violence and 2.2 million children were out of school, 340,000 in South Sudan.

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