Two-year-old Ater was developing normally until famine hit South Sudan. “He began crawling at 7 months and started to stand when he was 11 months,” says his mother, Aman. “However his health began to deteriorate due to the food crisis.”
Please support our East Africa food crisis appeal Aman is a single mother of 6. She has been forced to send her 3 eldest children to stay with relatives because she cannot afford to feed them.
Thousands suffering from malnutrition
The family once went for 7 days without eating any food, surviving by eating leaves from trees. As a result, Ater became malnourished. He is among thousands of children across South Sudan that are suffering from malnutrition.
Four-year-old Bargel used to love playing with her friends but she is now severely malnourished. Her mother Christine can only afford to feed her family of 7 once per day at most. “We have a bowl of boiled cereal once a day and sometimes we have leaves from the wild trees to cook.”
Food supplies help children recover
Ater and Bargel have been receiving help from Plan International’s nutrition programme in the Lakes State.
I almost lost hope but now he is now much better
Ater has been receiving 2 packs of a food supplement fortified with micronutrients every fortnight for the past 2 months and he is slowly recovering. “I can see a difference now,” Aman says. “Two months ago I almost lost hope but now he is now much better.”
Around 4.9 million people ― more than 40% of South Sudan's population ― are in need of urgent food, agriculture and nutrition assistance. Famine has been declared in some parts of South Sudan and the food security situation in the country continues to deteriorate.
Responding to the famine
Plan International is working in the Lakes States, as well as in Central Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria and Jonglei to provide life-saving food, nutrition and livelihood interventions including agricultural tools and fishing kits to ensure that children like Ater and Bargel don’t go hungry.
In March we distributed food to 8,500 people, mostly children aged between 6 and 17, and provided school meals for 15,500 children.