South Sudan: Lunch meals for school children
Despite hopeful beginnings, peace remains elusive in the world’s newest state, which remains mired in division and internal conflict. More than 4 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homes. Half of them are school-aged children. After decades of war, South Sudan has been named one of the worst countries to be a child. More than 5 million people are severely food insecure and 250,000 children are threatened by starvation. Security, food and education, all essential for the proper development and well-being of a child, are hard to come by. 50 percent of children under the age of five face malnutrition.
The Lologo district in the south of the capital city Juba used to be a camp for internally displaced people (IDP). Many residents of this extremely poor neighborhood try to eke out a living by growing fruit and vegetables, but their small crop is never enough to meet the needs of the community.
Malteser International’s school feeding programme aims at alleviating hunger for the most vulnerable by providing primary school children with a hot, nutritious meal everyday. School meals relieve short-term hunger, combat malnutrition in children, and work as an incentive for poor families to send their children to school, especially girls. In Al Salam School in Lologo, more than 2,000 children receive daily meals. These meals allow them to continue in school rather than worrying about where their next meal will come from.
Following South Sudan's independence in July 2011, hopes for positive change in the country were high. Repeated outbreaks of violence, however, have rendered conditions in parts of the country worse than ever before – forcing almost half of the country’s entire population to flee their homes. Despite repeated attempts to restore lasting peace, the situation in South Sudan remains unstable, and thousands continue to live in fear of violence.
As a result of the ongoing conflict and extreme poverty in Lologo, a significantly large number of children under the age of five are suffering from undernutrition. Older children are forced to fend for themselves in order to find something to eat.
- Reduced malnutrition, and improved health in school-age children
- Increased enrolment and retention rates in schools
- Provision of regular hot meals to school pupils
- Provision of the necessary catering equipment and materials to school canteens
Area: 644,329 km²
Population: c. 12 million
Project duration: October 2016 to December 2018
Donor: ADH - Germany's Relief Coalition
Last updated: August 2018