UNICEF Canada's CEO available for interviews from South Sudan on deteriorating humanitarian crisis

TORONTO and JUBA, South Sudan, June 30, 2014 /CNW/ - UNICEF Canada's President and CEO David Morley is in South Sudan and available to comment on UNICEF's ongoing response to the deteriorating humanitarian crisis.

A horrific combination of ethnic violence, an approaching hunger crisis and a rapidly spreading cholera outbreak has children in South Sudan teetering on the brink of catastrophe.

The United Nations Secretary General has said by the end of this year, half of South Sudan's 12 million people will be either in flight, facing starvation, or dead.  At least half of these are children – the most innocent victims in what is increasingly becoming a children's emergency. 

South Sudanese children and women constitute the majority of those fleeing to neighboring countries. Children are also being massacred, recruited into armed groups and injured and maimed in the crossfire. 

Through rapid response teams UNICEF and partners continue to provide life-saving humanitarian aid in the most remote, previously unreachable areas of South Sudan. The specialized teams are delivering ready to use therapeutic foods, micronutrient supplements, medicines, water purification sachets, Vitamin A tablets and support for breastfeeding mothers and pregnant women.

Other key UNICEF response activities in South Sudan include;

  • Providing more than 350,000 people with safe drinking water and sanitation facilities
  • Treating more than 30,000 children under 5-years-old for severe acute malnutrition
  • Immunizing nearly 320,000 children against measles
  • Providing safe spaces for more than 40,000 boys and girls
  • Identifying and protecting more than 4,500 children who are unaccompanied or separated from their families
  • Documenting and reporting grave violations against children to the Security Council which include killing, maiming, recruitment and sexual violence

In response to the cholera outbreak, UNICEF has helped establish a Cholera Treatment Centre at the Juba Teaching Hospital and is providing life-saving medicines, protective gear and equipment, and is expanding preventative measures to halt the disease's spread across the country. 

David Morley will be in Juba, Malakal and Bor, areas where there have been intense levels of fighting and significant need for humanitarian support. Mr. Morley can provide commentary on UNICEF's humanitarian response and provide first person accounts from children and families who have been displaced by violence.

UNICEF has appealed for $150 million to meet the urgent needs of children and their families living in crisis in South Sudan. So far $45 million has been raised leaving a funding gap of more than $100 million or 70 per cent of the emergency appeal.

WHO: UNICEF Canada's President and CEO David Morley
WHAT:  Update and information on UNICEF's ongoing response to the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan
WHERE: Juba, Bor and Malakal, South Sudan
WHEN: Available for interviews from South Sudan from June 30th to July 2 and in Canada beginning July 7.

About UNICEF

UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.

UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries - more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca.

SOURCE UNICEF Canada

For further information: And to arrange interviews: Layal Horanieh, Media Relations Specialist, 514 288-513 ext 8425; 514 2324510 (cell), lhoranieh@unicef.ca