An estimated 4.1 million children in South Sudan are expected to be in dire need of humanitarian assistance in 2021 due to “violence, armed conflict, cyclical drought, and perennial flooding, UNICEF said on Thursday.

“Overall 7.5 million people, or two-thirds of the population in South Sudan, are expected to be in dire need of humanitarian assistance in 2021,” UNICEF said in a report.

Dr. Mohamed Ag Ayoya, a UNICEF representative in South Sudan, said children in South Sudan are growing up thinking crises are normal.

“They are often faced with empty stomachs, exposed and more susceptible to communicable diseases, and many find themselves homeless due to severe flooding. This should not be normal for any child,” he added.

UNICEF appealed for $197.8 million for 2021 to assist 5.1 million people, including 3.7 million children, affected by multiple shocks, including conflict, disease outbreaks, drought and flooding.

“We are extremely concerned about the increased violence against humanitarian actors,” Ayoya said.

“We are asking for all humanitarians to be granted unhindered access to people in need, for the looting of relief supplies to end, and for perpetrators to be held accountable, so we can safely provide humanitarian assistance,” he urged.

“We all know investing in children is the best investment one can make. It is a key strategy to ensure sustainable development in South Sudan and to build a prosperous and peaceful country, “he reminded.​​​​​​​

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