Right now, children in South Sudan are fighting for their lives.
Famine has gripped the country, leaving 1.1 million children malnourished with nothing to eat. These children are starving. They're weak, frightened, and unsure where their next meal will come from. UNICEF already has people on the ground right now responding to this emergency, but we urgently need your help.
It's not only children in South Sudan whose lives are hanging in the balance, with families in Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria also facing dire food shortages.
Severe drought has ravaged these areas leading to the failure of vast tracts of crops, water shortages, and livestock death. Coupled with continuing conflict in some areas forcing families to flee their homes and farms, and blocking aid vehicles from delivering provisions, this situation has escalated to a full scale, unprecedented emergency.
South Sudan, engulfed in a violent civil war since 2013, has now formally declared a famine, meaning that people are already dying from hunger. Families are even resorting to boiling wild leaves or lillies that have no nutritional value at all, just to try and fill the bellies of their children.
Johnathan Veitch, the former head of UNICEF’s South Sudan operation, is one of the world’s top authorities on the challenges facing the country. He says "we should all look after children wherever they are, and we all know there are vulnerable children in New Zealand. But there are systems in place in New Zealand - a strong government with institutions that should be able to deal with most of those cases."
"It shouldn't take away from the fact that children on the other side of the world are dying right now as a result of severe malnutrition, conflict and displacement."
"Every single child's life is absolutely critical."
We have to act now.
In Somalia, children are also at risk. Facing the worst drought the country has seen in 30 years, 40% of the population now need assistance to meet their basic nutritional needs and this figure is expected to rise.
In just 2 years, Yemen has seen a 200% increase in children suffering from severe acute malnutrition, and last year alone, UNICEF provided over 4 million children with micronutrient interventions. This catastrophic situation has been made far worse with ongoing fighting, the impending collapse of the national heath system, the destruction of medical facilities, and the struggle for humanitarian groups to safely deliver aid.
Ethiopia and Nigeria are also reeling from the effects of conflict and drought, and millions of children urgently need therapeutic care for malnutrition. As the fifth largest refugee-hosting country in the world, Ethiopia will have an even greater pressure placed on its limited food sources, and hundreds of thousands more refugees from South Sudan are expected to arrive this year.
Families are doing everything they can to protect their children from the devastating and life-long effects of malnutrition, but they really need your help.
Just $38 can buy enough ready-to-eat therapeutic food to save the life of a malnourished child.
At 60 cents a packet for therapeutic food, this is a low-cost, fast acting way to treat malnutrition. Each packet is bursting with energy, protein and all the goodness needed to bring a child back from the ravages of hunger. Each packet is an easily absorbed meal and just 3 packets a day for 3-4 weeks is enough to save the life of a malnourished child.
is a specially designed peanut paste used for treating malnourished children. It comes in ready-to-eat packets and is bursting with energy, protein and all the goodness children need to recover from malnutrition.
Each packet is a meal for a starving child. Just 3 packets a day for 3-4 weeks is enough to get a malnourished child back to a healthy weight. Each packet costs just 60 cents, about what you would pay for a piece of fruit.
So not only does it cost peanuts... it is peanuts!
UNICEF is the world's largest supplier of ready-to-eat therapeutic food. We work in more than 90 countries to make good nutrition a reality for children
What makes UNICEF therapeutic food fast?
UNICEF therapeutic food can be dispatched anywhere in the world 24/7. Delivery is by plane, boat, truck, bike and foot to children
Fast To Eat
Each 92g packet is ready to eat. No refrigeration, no water, no knife and fork required. Straight from the packet to start saving lives
Plumpy'Nut® is quickly absorbed into a child's body. 3 packets a day for 3-4 weeks will get a child back to a healthy weight