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At least 270,000 children in South Sudan are severely malnourished and face greater risk of starvation, with some 20,000 expected to die from extreme hunger before the end of year, aid group Save the Children warned on Thursday.
The agency said nearly half of South Sudan’s population is facing extreme hunger.
“Malnourished children have substantially reduced immune systems and are at least three times more likely to contract and die from diseases like cholera and pneumonia than healthy children,” said Deidre Keogh, Save the Children’s country director in South Sudan.
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The new findings came barely a month after another report by three UN agencies and the government that the conflict, a biting economic crisis and insecurity in the past three months pushed 6.1 million
South Sudanese into extreme hunger, and 36,000 others facing risk of famine.
South Sudan descended into civil war in late 2013, and the conflict has created one of the fastest growing refugee crises in the world.
The UN estimates that about four million South Sudanese have been displaced internally and externally.
A peace deal signed in August 2015 collapsed following renewed violence in the capital Juba in July 2016.
Save the Children said the recently signed revitalized peace agreement provides hope for millions of children if implemented effectively.
“To ensure South Sudan’s children are protected from a further decline into starvation, Save the Children calls for access to children in need to be guaranteed, humanitarian assistance to be enhanced and sustained,” Keogh said.
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Abiy Ahmed wins the 2019 Nobel Peace Award
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize for immersly efforts to end two decades of hostility with longtime enemy Eritrea.
Though Africa’s youngest leader still faces big challenges, he has in under two years in power begun political and economic reforms that promise a better life for many in impoverished Ethiopia and restored ties with Eritrea that had been frozen since a 1998-2000 border war.
“We are proud as a nation,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement, hailing a “collective win for all Ethiopians, and a call to strengthen our resolve in making Ethiopia – the new horizon of hope – a prosperous nation for all.”
It said the prize was meant to recognize “all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions.”
The Nobel Committee’s decision appeared designed to encourage the peace process, echoing the 1994 peace prize shared by Israeli and Palestinian leaders and the 1993 award for moves towards reconciliation in South Africa, said Dan Smith, head of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
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