AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN - Childhood penalized, 200,000 children at risk for malnutrition

Monday, 7 January 2013

Juba (Agenzia Fides) - Every day around the world 19 000 children die, and one third of these deaths are related to malnutrition. There are countries where the hunger problem is particularly severe. Among them, the youngest in the world, South Sudan, where 200,000 children are at risk. In the hospital in the capital, Juba, every day children suffering from acute malnutrition, underweight for their age arrive. It is the only pediatric hospital in the country. Every year, humanitarian organizations seek to assist 70 000 children, but in southern Sudan more than 200 000 are at risk. The situation is even worse in rural areas, where children continue to die because of high fevers that lead to malaria. In the country there are 9 million people, half are minors. Before gaining independence in 2011, following several years of conflict with Sudan, most of the infrastructure was destroyed and an entire generation remained orphaned. The government, supported by international organizations, has managed to reduce poverty rates but still has much to do especially for children. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 07/01/2013)