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330 tonnes of food for South Sudan

330 tonnes of food for South Sudan

The Polish Medical Mission continues to combat starvation in South Sudan, and commenced a strategic feeding project in May 2018. Extremely undernourished pregnant women and children will receive 330 TONNES of food! This is the first project of a Polish humanitarian organisation on such a great scale in this civil war stricken country. The funds for the aid were allocated by the Department of Humanitarian Aid of the Chancellery of the Prime Minister.

Civil war in South Sudan as well as droughts ruined the crops in 2017. Western Equatoria State was severely affected by the drought disaster and the consequences of displacements of people caused by armed struggle. Thousands of people moved to Western in search of a safe shelter until the military conflict is over. Even though the situation is getting back to normal and the level of safety has been raised in most of the area of South Sudan, the displaced families are not returning to their homes. This is caused by the existing post-conflict situation – their homes have been burned and levelled with the ground, the scarce supplies of food and grain for sowing have been stolen, and they absolutely cannot rely on any help from the local administration. In this overcrowded state, there was an increase of reported cases of undernourishment among children under 5, school age children, and also pregnant women and lactating mothers. The last IPC (Integrated Food Security Phase Classification) report from November 2017 stated that Western Equatoria, and particularly some of its districts, are facing the Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels of food insecurity, driven to a large extent by the armed conflict and drought, both of which has an impact on the agricultural activity.

The partner in the Polish Medical Mission’s project is the American non-governmental organisation Food For The Hungry. Polish Medical Mission will purchase 330 tonnes of food for lactating and pregnant women, and extremely undernourished mothers and children up to the age of 5 in the districts of Mundri West, Mundri East and Mvolo in Western Equatoria state. The food supplied will enable families to sow sorghum grains and to securely survive several months while waiting for the crops. Pregnant and lactating women and children up 5 years old are particularly vulnerable to famine. Shortage of food may slow down the development of babies to be born and small children. Undernourished mothers and children are more susceptible to bacterial and viral diseases and infections.

As a result of the project actions, approx. 47,000 women and children in the worst situation with regard to access to food and at risk of structural hunger, resulting from global acute undernourishment, will receive stable food aid. The food delivered to the beneficiaries – beans, rice, oil and sorghum grains, will enable them to safely survive the summer months of waiting for the crops.

An additional result of the action will be prevention of diseases caused by undernourishment among children and pregnant women, which damage or retard the development of the central nervous system and the hormonal system, which are responsible for the correct growth and development of children, neonates and pregnancy.

Another result of the project will be regaining economic stability by the beneficiaries’ families, who being supplied with food, will be able to start making efforts to gain income from employment in the local market.

 

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