Unicef warns of a triple emergency of epic proportions
Scots actor Ewan McGregor has demanded action be taken to save the lives of thousands of children affected by civil war in South Sudan.
Unicef, of which the Star Wars actor is an ambassador, warned that up to three children under the age of five are dying at Bentiu Protection of Civilians Site in Unity State every day from malnutrition and disease.
It said heavy rains are making unsanitary conditions worse coupled with a lack of clean water and sanitation, acute overcrowding and children arriving already desperately malnourished and ill.
On the day South Sudan marked three years of independence, McGregor said: “In July 2011 babies were born into incredible hope in South Sudan, as the country declared independence and was celebrated as the world’s newest nation.
“Now, three years on, the outlook for these same children has taken a dramatic and desperate turn.
“Famine is looming. Children are already dying every day of hunger and of diseases like cholera.
“This is a terrible warning for the world. We need to sit up and take action now to stop the suffering, before the scenes of horror increase.”
The number of people who have fled to the camp has gone up by more than five times in less than three months.
Unicef is leading the emergency response but is around £60 million short of the £89m it needs to fund it.
Calling on people to text FOOD to 70030 to donate £5, McGregor added: “Too many children in South Sudan have empty stomachs and increasingly empty futures.
“We need to help those children now, before it is simply too late.”