Invest in South Sudan's children: UNICEFListen /
The UN children's fund (UNICEF) is calling for greater investment in South Sudan's children as the first anniversary of the country's independence approaches.
UNICEF says the rights and well-being of children should be an urgent priority for the country, where half the population is under the age of 18.
Charles Appel reports.
South Sudan became an independent nation on 9 July 2011, and UNICEF says the country inherited some of the worst social indicators making it a risky place for a child to be born.
These include high rates of maternal and infant mortality, illiteracy and malnutrition.
UNICEF reports that South Sudan also has one of the world's lowest rates of primary school completion. Seventy per cent of children between the ages of six and 17 years have never set foot in a class room.
With the new nation facing numerous crises such as severe food insecurity, an ongoing influx of refugees and continued threat of conflict, the agency says there is greater need to protect the country's children.
Charles Appel, United Nations