The World Food Programme (WFP) has warned that more than 1.6 million children under five will suffer from malnutrition next year in South Sudan after a surge in waterborne diseases caused by floods.
The largest humanitarian organization in the world to combat hunger WFP said in a statement that Rubkona, a county where floodwaters have permanently submerged entire communities or trapped them on small islands since 2021, will be particularly affected and is on the frontline of the flooding and is expected to face exceptionally high levels and severity of malnutrition by April 2024.
Data from the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) shows more than 1.6 million children under five years of age are expected to suffer from malnutrition in 2024. Flood-affected areas are facing the worst malnutrition due to the spread of water borne diseases and crowded conditions, aggravated by limited access to food and livelihoods.
WFP Representative to South Sudan Mary-Ellen McGroarty warned that “This is the reality of living on the frontline of the climate crisis.” “Were seeing an extremely concerning rise in malnutrition which is a direct result of living in overcrowded and waterlogged conditions. The spread of waterborne diseases unravels any work humanitarian agencies do in preventing and treating malnutrition and it is young children who are suffering the impact most severely,” she added.
The IPC shows more than seven million people will be facing acute food insecurity through the 2024 lean season with the number of people facing catastrophic hunger (IPC5) expected to rise to 79,000 by April.