The US Agency for International Development (USAID) handed over 97,600 cartons of ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) to UNICEF on Wednesday.
These supplies, according to a statement, are part of an overall funding contribution of USAID of $ 25 million to prevent and fight malnutrition in South Sudan.
This comes as South Sudan is reportedly faced with the highest levels of malnutrition among children in 10 years.
About 1.4 million children are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2021.
“According to the most recent UN assessments, 1.4 million children under 5 years are acutely malnourished, including more than 310,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition,” said Haven Cruz-Hubbard, USAID Mission Director.
“USAID’s partnership with UNICEF is critical in the treatment of children with severe acute malnutrition. In 2020, USAID funding for ready to use therapeutic food treated 52% of all children admitted with severe acute malnutrition in South Sudan.”
With the support of USAID, UNICEF and partners will be able to ensure early screening for malnutrition of 2.2 million children and provide them with adequate assistance.
97,600 children suffering from the worst form of malnutrition and at risk of dying will be provided with therapeutic food. This will allow UNICEF and partner to save the lives of many children, as 95% of the children suffering from severe acute malnutrition treated with therapeutic food recover.
The cartons of therapeutic food will be dispatched quickly throughout the country to more than 1,000 nutrition centers where UNICEF and partners are screening children for malnutrition and providing therapeutic assistance to those in need.
Pre-positioning of these supplies is essential as with the upcoming rainy season and floods, large parts of the country will become difficult of access.
‘We are grateful for the continued support of USAID in the prevention of malnutrition as well as the treatment,” said Andrea Suley, UNICEF South Sudan representative.
“UNICEF is committed to assist all the children in need, while promoting a cross-sectoral approach addressing all the underlying factors of malnutrition.”
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