Aid agencies are in a race against time to save the lives of 50,000 children aged under five who face starvation in South Sudan.

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World Vision and other humanitarian groups like the UN are rushing food and other essential items out to remote areas of the country that have been embroiled in fighting and now risk being cut off by heavy seasonal rains. 

A brutal conflict between former government partners and the government has led to the displacement of more than 1.3 million people – half of them children. They have fled into other states, across national borders and into the protection of UN camps.  

Almost five million people need humanitarian assistance. 

Fighting and displacement is preventing the planting of crops during the current rainy season. So while hunger is a massive problem now it is set to get even worse if no crops can be planted and harvested.  Almost a quarter of a million children are predicted to be severely malnourished by the end of the year. 

World Vision staff are working in remote and volatile regions of the country to deliver food and essential aid, and provide toilet and hygiene services to tens of thousands of people. We are also running child protection activities that help children who have been terrorized by conflict. 

Remote programming and distribution sites will increasingly rely on food aid drops by plane as dirt runways and roads become unusable in the rainy season. This combined with the threat of conflict breaking out make this an extremely challenging response but one where hundreds of thousands of children are living in extreme vulnerability and need aid now, however hard it is to get it in. 

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