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New Zealanders asked to support South Sudan

New Zealanders asked to support South Sudan as hunger catastrophe continues

Donate at: www.unicef.org.nz/South-Sudan

South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, is currently in the midst of a hunger catastrophe with the threat of famine looming on the horizon.

UNICEF is continuing to rush urgent supplies to the most remote areas of South Sudan in order to avert the needless deaths of thousands of children.

Vivien Maidaborn, Executive Director at UNICEF New Zealand, said, “Unless nutritional treatment is scaled up immediately, UNICEF is warning that up to 50,000 children under the age of five could die in the course of the year. That is roughly the same amount of people as urban New Plymouth.

“We know from experience that severely malnourished children can and do survive if they receive the right treatment and food. For the equivalent of roughly NZ$1.60 a day, UNICEF can provide a child with life-saving superfood full of the nutrients they need to get them back to health. But we need more resources to do this. We cannot just stand by as this plays out. The children of South Sudan need help now.”

Months of conflict and disruption to harvests and livelihoods have resulted in this large-scale hunger crisis gripping the country. Up to 1.3 million people have so far been displaced, half of which are children.

Ms Maidaborn added, “The numbers and scale involved here really are staggering. One in three people in South Sudan don’t know where their next meal will come from. That’s 3.9 million people - almost the entire population of New Zealand.”

UNICEF New Zealand’s efforts to highlight the situation in South Sudan are currently supported by TV adverts featuring well known actor and UNICEF ambassador, Ewan McGregor.

The adverts illustrate the desperate situation that is currently a reality for millions of people in dire need of help and supplies.

Recent months have seen an increased number of emergencies unfolding all over the word requiring ever increasing resources. In August, UNICEF deployed its largest emergency supply operation ever in a single month.

“There are so many crises that require urgent attention and New Zealanders have been incredibly generous supporting our recent efforts in emergencies like Gaza and Syria. But this is a race against time in South Sudan.

“Right now children are dying and will continue to do so unless we can help them. Please donate at www.unicef.org.nz/South-Sudan or organise a fundraising event at work or in your local community. Every bit of support we receive will help us to reach even more children in South Sudan,” Ms Maidaborn concluded.

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