Nearly 250,000 children at risk of malnutrition in South Sudan

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Children in South Sudan. Photo: UNMISS/Ilya Medvedev

Nearly a quarter of a million children in South Sudan are at significant risk of malnutrition as a result of the ongoing conflict between government and rebel forces in the country.

The warning has come from the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) which says many children are trapped without access to basic medical services and food.

Catherine Hasselberg has more.

According to UNICEF, low household food stocks and a shrinking economy have exacerbated the humanitarian crisis caused by the conflict.

It is estimated that the number of people facing severe food insecurity has almost doubled since the start of the year from 2.5 million to about 4.6 million people.

They include approximately 874,000 children under the age of five.

UNICEF says this is the highest number of families at crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity since the start of the conflict in December 2013.

Nearly one in three children under five years of age is malnourished in the worst-hit areas of Greater Upper Nile, Warrup and Northern Bahr el Ghazal.

The agency says there is a funding shortfall of 75 per cent this year and is urgently appealing for US$25 million to continue its lifesaving nutrition response in South Sudan.

Catherine Hasselberg, United Nations.

Duration: 57″

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