Children like 2-year-old Lual continue to receive help, even as need intensifies in South Sudan.

Lual, 2, eats a packet of nutrient-rich Plumpy’Nut®* at a World Vision-supported health center in Kuajok, South Sudan.

Your support enables life-saving programs to continue in South Sudan

World Vision programs providing therapeutic food and critical care to malnourished children and mothers in South Sudan nearly came to a screeching halt last October when we learned that one of our key partners was no longer able to provide funding.

Because of a quick response from faithful supporters who donated more than $900,000, World Vision was able to continue these life-saving efforts. Thanks to partners like you, our programs were fully running again by December 1.

This means that approximately 20,000 children and mothers continue to receive the help they need. Two-year-old Lual is one of them.

Lual Akol, a 2-year-old South Sudanese boy, was cranky when a health worker called his name. A World Vision staff member weighed him, then measured the circumference of his mid-upper arm — confirming his severely malnourished condition.

The long walk in his mother’s arms under the scorching sun to the feeding center was over. Lual received his weekly supply of Plumpy’Nut®*, a nutrient-rich peanut-based paste, and devoured the first packet. Just like prescription medicine, the child is expected to take three packets a day — one in the morning, one at noon, and one in the late afternoon.

Lual is among 18,000 malnourished children benefiting from World Vision’s emergency nutrition program in South Sudan’s Warrap State, where recent floods destroyed crops.

“Last month, Lual started having a constant diarrhea, fever, and vomiting,” says his mother, Awich Ayiei Lim. “He refused to eat because he had lost his appetite. When his condition got worse, I decided to bring him to this clinic for treatment.”

Signs of hope

The toddler is making progress despite his family’s daily toil to find enough to eat. Other children are noticeably improving, too, thanks to volunteers who visit surrounding communities to assess children’s health needs. Community members have begun referring friends whose children need help.

“Our program is now enjoying a ripple effect, as the mothers, caregivers, and local communities are helping us to identify and refer malnourished children from outlying villages,” says Dorothy Matyatya, World Vision’s nutrition project officer in Warrap state. “We are very grateful to God for giving us the resources to be able to save the lives of malnourished children.”

Slow progress

Awich and her husband are subsistence farmers, who lost their sorghum and groundnut crops in the recent floods. They’ve resorted to selling firewood, earning about $2 per day.

Warrap state has the highest prevalence of malnutrition among children in South Sudan. Nearly 28 percent of children here are considered acutely malnourished, according to a recent survey conducted by World Vision and its partners.

“The progress is slow, but he is getting better every day. As you can see, he is eating the Plumpy’Nut very well. If he continues eating this food, he will get well very soon,” Awich says.

She says she can’t find words to adequately express her gratitude to World Vision for saving her son and longs to see help given to other hungry children.

“I am so grateful to those who support this program, and I want to exalt them because the program is saving the lives of our children,” Awich says. “I am also appealing for support to vulnerable families like ours that do not have food.”

*Plumpy’Nut® is a registered trademark of Nutriset. It is one of multiple ready-to-use therapeutic foods distributed by World Vision.

World Vision’s work in South Sudan continues amid intensified need. On December 15, fighting broke out in the country’s capital, Juba. As a result, at least half a million people have been forced to flee their homes — leaving their livelihoods behind. Food insecurity is expected to rise significantly, and is already high due to previous conflict and heavy rains that destroyed crops. It’s estimated that 4.4 million people will face hunger in 2014.

Now more than ever, these nutrition programs are critical to the health and survival of children in South Sudan. In addition to continuing our therapeutic feeding efforts, World Vision is also helping to prevent further cases of malnutrition by responding to the immediate needs of those displaced by war.

  • Pray for children and families facing hunger and malnutrition in South Sudan. Ask God to bring an end to the fighting and send abundant harvests.
  • Help provide life-saving assistance to children and families affected by the latest conflict and increasing food insecurity in South Sudan.

Plumpy’Nut® is a registered trademark of Nutriset. It is one of multiple ready-to-use therapeutic foods distributed by World Vision. Learn more about this miracle food and why it is used to fight severe malnutrition.