Children in south Sudan desperate

2010-12-15 22:23

Geneva - Thousands of children in south Sudan are living in "desperate" conditions due to serious malnutrition, as well as a lack of access to medical care and education, the UN children's agency said on Wednesday.

"By any international standards, the situation of children in south Sudan is really desperate," said Yasmin Ali Haque, who heads Unicef's bureau in the region.

Malnutrition is one of the major problems of the region where 90% of the 9 million inhabitants live with less than a dollar a day, said the UNICEF official.

Around 1.2 million people were dependent on food aid in 2009, the UN agency said, noting that more than 40 000 children in the region are treated every year for malnutrition.

After years of conflict with the Arab-dominated north, "generations of children (in south Sudan) have not had access to schooling or proper health care," she added.

South Sudan also has one of the highest levels of maternal mortality in the world, with more than 2 000 women dying in every 100 000 births.

Due to the lack of access to healthcare, one in every seven children "don't live until their fifth birthday," Haque said.

In addition, only one out of five children aged six enters school.

In the past five years, the situation has improved with the end of the conflict with the north, said Haque, although she acknowledged that "still a lot more need to be done".

She said the referendum on independence planned for January 9 could worsen a humanitarian situation which is already complicated by "floods, drought, inter-tribal conflict or attacks" by Ugandan rebels.

"There is a constant humanitarian situation in South Sudan and there is the potential that it gets worse," she added.

South Sudan is widely expected to opt for independence in the referendum, which would split Africa's largest country in two.

Read more on:    sudan  |  east africa  |  child abuse

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News
 

US biker deaths down: What's the secret?

Motorcycle deaths are on track to decline for a second year in the US thanks to a so far - on bikes - little-used road safety accessory.

 

Stay safe

US biker deaths down: What's the secret?
Pro's and con's of accredited driver-training
Juvenile pillion riders? Play safe...
Need a family ride? SA's top Mommy Cars
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The right brain is emphasised today and it is easy for you to fly into the world of imagination and fantasy with ease. You may...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.