Famine has struck parts of South Sudan and children urgently need our help to survive. War and a collapsing economy have left parents with nothing to feed their families and more than a quarter of a million children are severely malnourished. They need immediate, lifesaving aid and every day counts.
Our worst fears have been realised. Conflict, a failing economy and extreme weather have collided in South Sudan, creating a humanitarian catastrophe for children.
Years of brutal violence have disrupted farming, torn away families' livelihoods and decimated the country's food supply. Inflation has skyrocketed to an incredible 800%, leaving parents unable to afford even basic food staples, and a severe dry season has pushed communities past breaking point.
Children are hardest hit. Without enough nutritious food, a staggering one million young girls and boys have become acutely malnourished. More than 250,000 already have severe acute malnutrition - the deadliest form of the disease. They need our help and they need it now.
Helen holds her baby Emmanuel, a child with severe malnutrition, at the malnutrition ward in Al Shabbab hospital in Juba, South Sudan. © UNICEF / Albert Gonzalez Farran
Helen was one of many mothers forced to flee from violence with her children.
When they finally returned home, there was no food left and baby Emmanuel fell desperately ill with severe acute malnutrition.
If there was no war, my family would be together and we could have jobs to buy food for our family. But nothing is operating.”
As Emmanuel struggled with diarrhoea and vomiting, Helen began to lose hope. But she didn't give up until they reached a UNICEF-supported health centre where her baby finally received emergency therapeutic food.
No parent should have to watch their children suffer through malnutrition - and they don’t have to.
Your generous donation today will deliver therapeutic food and other emergency supplies to children in crisis.