The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Tuesday launched a flash appeal asking for 10 million U.S. dollars to respond to the most immediate needs of children affected by the floods in South Sudan.
Mohamed Ag Ayoya, UNICEF representative in South Sudan said more than 900,000 people including 490,000 children, are in need of urgent assistance amid rise in water levels.
“South Sudan was already one of the most dangerous countries to be a child, and now it got worse,” Ayoya said in a statement issued in Juba.
“The good news is that UNICEF was on the ground before the flood and could respond quickly. The actions we are taking today will determine for how long children will feel these floods after the water subsides,” he added.
The UN agency said about 90,000 children are out of school due to flooded classrooms, teachers displaced, and schools used as shelters.
The UN agency plans for scaling up the response and reaching some of the more remote areas across Jonglei, Upper Nile, Unity, Warrap, Northern Bahr El Ghazal, Unity and Eastern Equatoria, and are currently being finalized.
It said the magnitude of the crisis requires ‘all hands on deck’- a coordinated response with the government and all partners supported by the international community.
South Sudan is battling the extreme deluge of water and entire communities, including health centers, nutrition centers and schools, are submerged in water.
According to UNICEF, up to 90 percent of the basic services have been suspended in some areas. Most water sources in the affected areas are contaminated by floodwater, posing a huge health risk for children.
“It is a liquid situation in all aspects. The prevalence of malaria and waterborne diseases are increasing while children are cut off from essential services due to flooded buildings, impassable roads and destroyed bridges,” Ayoya said.
He said children are separated from their parents and over 70,000 families are displaced, noting that forecasts indicate the rain will continue for weeks. Enditem