South Sudan growing pains: World Vision offers a path for Canada to be a global leader in helping the world's most vulnerable people

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4.8 million people expected to face severe food shortages
Adut, 28, sits next to her ill one year-old baby, Makuei, who sleeps on a mattress at Warrap State Hospital because there are not enough beds. Photo/World Vision
(July 08, 2016)
This Saturday July 9, South Sudan will celebrate the 5th anniversary of its independence. But the world's newest country continues to experience urgent humanitarian challenges that require greater support from Canada and the international community, according to World Vision.
According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) for the Republic of South Sudan released on June 29th, the overall food security situation in the country continues to worsen as an unprecedented 4.8 million individuals are expected to face severe food shortages. This is a significant increase to the same time last year and is expected to worsen during the May – July lean season if adequate interventions are not carried out. Since the beginning of 2016 more than 100,000 children have been treated for severe malnutrition, which is a 40 per cent increase compared to last year, and a 150 per cent increase since 2014.
Children who suffer from moderate acute malnutrition are 2.5 times more likely to die than a well-nourished child if they don't receive treatment, and this increases to about 9 times if the malnutrition is severe. Ensuring good nutrition, particularly in the first 1,000 days of a child's life saves lives and prevents the lifelong impacts of mental and physical stunting caused by malnutrition.
As Canada reviews its international assistance priorities, South Sudan represents a true opportunity to make a real and meaningful difference for some of the most vulnerable people on earth who suffer from conflict, displacement and environmental disaster, according to the international development agency.
  • Ensure Canadian assistance to South Sudan addresses immediate life-saving humanitarian need while investing in key development initiatives to support resilience building measures and sustainable growth.
  • Support local communities to develop livelihoods and prepare for and carry out crop cultivation during the next growing season to avert further deterioration.
  • Join with NGOs in our efforts to raise awareness among the Canadian population and donors of the need to raise support for the crisis in South Sudan and other forgotten and under-reported crisis including Somalia, Eastern DRC and Afghanistan.
Michael Messenger, President and CEO of World Vision Canada:
"I visited South Sudan for the first time in November 2015, and I was shocked at how deeply the conflict has affected children, many who are now living on the margins. As South Sudan marks its fifth year of independence, urgent and sustained help is needed. We simply cannot let this become a forgotten crisis. As Canada sets a new course for international aid, I strongly encourage Canada to place a greater priority in fragile countries like South Sudan, ensuring our assistance not only meets life-saving needs but truly transforms communities for lasting peace. It's one of the toughest places on earth, the crisis is significant, but it's not insurmountable."
Adakien Nuor, mother of four children, Twic, South Sudan:
"I can barely provide food for my children, but I can't buy them clothes at all. My children have never been to school and they live in constant fear, as we have moved from camp to camp over the past two years. We never know when and where fighting might break out again. World Vision has provided a water pump and sends flour to make bread. Life is tough and I fear for my children's life. We just have bread and besides that, we eat leaves. There is nothing else. I have seen suffering and fighting, but I am still proud: We have our own country and I wouldn't want to change this for anything."
  • 4.8 million South Sudanese will face severe food shortages in the coming months, up from 4.3 million in April. This is the highest level of hunger since the conflict started in South Sudan two-and-a-half-years ago
  • Since December 2013, more than 10,000 civilians were killed. More than 2.3 million people are displaced.
  • Since the beginning of 2016, more than 100,000 children have been treated for malnutrition. This is a 40% increase compared to the same period last year, and 150% since 2014.
Images available upon request
B-roll video of Internally Displaced Persons camp in Twic, South Sudan - available upon request
Image with caption: "Adut Atway, 28, sits next to her ill one year-old baby, Makuei Guanat, who sleeps on a mattress at Warrap State Hospital because there are not enough beds.