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UN says responding to increase in death toll among children in Unity state

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September 21, 2015 (JUBA) – United Nations (UN) on Monday rang alarm bell over increased death rate among children in the UN protection of civilian site in Unity state’s capital, Bentiu where 34 children under 5 years of age died in the first week of September, about 5 deaths a day.

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People wait to fill up their water containers at a camp for internally displaced people in Unity state capital Bentiu (Photo: Matthew Abbott/AP)

Spokesperson for the UN secretary general in a press conference on Monday in New York said reports lamented the rapid loss of children in the camp.

"Turning to South Sudan, our colleagues at our Humanitarian Office (OCHA) say that thirty-four children under 5 years of age died from malnutrition in the civil protection site in Bentiu, Unity State, in the first week of September,” announced Stephane Dujarric.

He said the deaths mainly resulted from malnutrition, but added that water and sanitation organizations were stepping up activities to address malnutrition and child mortality in Bentiu.

OCHA said malnutrition remained a major concern across South Sudan, with about a quarter of a million children severely malnourished.

Meanwhile, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) recently launched a joint nutrition scale-up plan, which will see the agencies and their partners assist over two million people – children, pregnant women and new mothers – for the treatment and prevention of acute malnutrition until May of next year.

“Just to give you a scale of the issue: following the recent fighting in central Unity State, we are now housing 112,000 people in our protection of civilians’ camp in Bentiu," said Dujarric.

(ST)

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  • 22 September 2015 09:05, by Eastern

    Where are the central and state government health agencies? Why are they not blaming UN and other NGOs now when these international agencies are trying very hard to save lives? Kiir’s government hates constructive criticism, typical guerrilla mentality!

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