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UNICEF demands action for South Sudanese kids

UNICEF demands action for South Sudanese kids
May 19
11:30 2014

UNICEF has warned that hundreds of thousands of children in South Sudan’s most crisis-torn areas are at imminent risk of death and disease, including the threat of cholera.

The UNICEF Deputy Executive Director, Yoka Brandt, made the disclosure in a statement issued on Monday in New York.

“The children are suffering from malnutrition due to the conflict in the country, and the dream of a safe and peaceful South Sudan is becoming a living nightmare for the children,” NAN quoted her as saying

Brandt said five months into the conflict in the world’s youngest nation, about 80 per cent of children under the age of five in the three most conflict-affected states of Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity were at heightened risk of disease and death.

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She added that in spite of the 80,000 people having been fully vaccinated against cholera, the South Sudanese Ministry of Health had confirmed a cholera outbreak in Juba.

According to Brandt, cholera caseload is doubling every day, providing troubling proof that the deadly disease is spreading.

The UNICEF official, however, said that the UN children’s agency had set up a cholera treatment centre and was supplying tents for triage and patient care, hygiene equipment, clean water and oral rehydration solution.

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“Right now, the children of South Sudan need humanitarian assistance,” she said.

“They need their leaders to protect their lives, their rights and their futures and they need the world to listen and demand action on their behalf.”

South Sudan had been enmeshed in a crisis which started in mid-December 2013 as a political dispute between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy, Riek Machar, who had been forced from office earlier that year.

The in-fighting erupted into full-fledged conflict believed to have left thousands of people dead and forced tens of thousands more to seek refuge at UN bases around the country.

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However, the political rivals had signed an accord two weeks ago to end the fighting.

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