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  • Every day, when Nyabel Wal thinks of preparing food for her family of five, she has only one option: to harvest the wild grass that grows near her home, known locally as "woor."

  • The plant grows virtually everywhere in South Sudan, and it is believed to be the only weed holding the deteriorating lives of thousands of people in Upper Nile State from starvation.

  • Once Nyabel has collected enough wild grass, she prepares it for cooking.

  • Nyabel's nephew, 12-year-old Ruwan Gatluwak, says he is tired eating the same thing all the time.

  • We are eating grass because there is no food.

  • If there was food, we would not eat this.

  • Nyabel recently traveled for six days to look for food, only to come back empty handed.

  • Since January, we have been living without food, except for the wild grass.

  • Sometime back, I went to Mathiang town to look for food and left the baby behind.

  • When I came back, the baby refused to breastfeed, refused food, and became sick.

  • The nutritional status for children like Gonor Pal has increased at an alarming rate in South Sudan as the conflict there continues.

  • In response, UNICEF has deployed a rapid response team in remote areas such as this one.

  • These teams bring desperately needed services like health screening and treatment as well as delivering life-saving supplies such as ready to use therapeutic foods, micronutrient supplements, and medicines.

  • The situation is bad.

  • It is a dire situation.

  • We've talked to mothers.

  • A lot of them are are skipping meals, cutting down on rations, eating wild foods, so access to food is the biggest problem.

  • Access to health also contributes to the nutrition situation, the sanitation situation.

  • So it's a broad spectrum of access services that are contributing to the nutrition situation in South Sudan.

  • When the UNICEF rapid response team visited the neighborhood, it was confirmed that Nyabel's daughter was suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

  • The child was treated with therapeutic food in an effort to bring her back to good health.

  • The dream of a safe and peaceful South Sudan is becoming a living nightmare for children.

  • As the tireless efforts to deliver humanitarian assistance continue, hundreds of thousands of children in South Sudan's three most conflict-affected states remain at imminent risk of death and disease.

  • Much-needed support from the international community is urgently needed, and may spell the difference between life and death for thousands of children and their families hanging onto life in South Sudan.

Every day, when Nyabel Wal thinks of preparing food for her family of five, she has only one option: to harvest the wild grass that grows near her home, known locally as "woor."

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B1 US south sudan sudan grass south unicef wild

"We are eating grass because there is no food." – South Sudan | UNICEF

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    Mayu Okuuchi posted on 2020/02/12
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