Africa-Press – Kenya. The World Food Programme (WFP) warned Monday that over 1.6 million children are expected to suffer from malnutrition in 2024 and children in South Sudan will be the worst affected.
Citing data from the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), the WFP said that “more than 1.6 million children under five years of age are expected to suffer from malnutrition” next year.
“Flood-affected areas are facing the worst malnutrition due to the spread of waterborne diseases and crowded conditions, aggravated by limited access to food and livelihoods,” it said in a statement.
That is why flood-affected parts of South Sudan “are expected to face extreme levels of malnutrition” in the first half of 2024, it said.
“This is the reality of living on the frontline of the climate crisis,” said Mary-Ellen McGroarty, the WFP’s Country Director in South Sudan. “We’re seeing an extremely concerning rise in malnutrition which is a direct result of living in overcrowded and waterlogged conditions.”
“The spread of waterborne diseases unravels any work humanitarian agencies do in preventing and treating malnutrition, and it is young children who are suffering the impact most severely,” she added.
Rubkona County in Sudan, it said, is predicted to be in IPC Acute Malnutrition Phase 5 by April 2024 for the first time ever, hitting the highest possible level.
The flooding is caused by overflowing of the Nile basins, especially Lake Victoria, which received above-average rainfall in 2023, meaning the deluge is not likely to abate, according to the WFP.