Posts Tagged ‘NUTRITION’

Improving the nutrition welfare of children in Jonglei State

Posted on Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

By John Alier

 The Resilience and Food Security program (RFSP) has been helping widows and other vulnerable women in Jonglei State with its small ruminant revolving credit program, restoring their human dignity, hope and pride and in the process making them more resilient. 

Vulnerable women in the targeted communities receive three goats or sheep, of which two are female and one male, on a credit basis from RFSP. Once these goats give birth, the women then repay the animals back to RFSP through the young ones. RFSP then passes the livestock to the next batch of vulnerable women.  

Although many people were affected by the 2013 crisis, women headed households suffered even more. Their hopes were dashed by the fighting and many lost any optimism they had about the future and that of their children. These women are now being empowered once again by RFSP restocking exercise and their livelihoods are now being restored. 

Rhoda Abiar Achiek got married when she was 18 years of age. Together with her husband, they struggled to make ends meet but they could survive and earn a living supporting each other. Unfortunately, her husband died when she was expecting her first child, a baby boy.  

Abiar gave birth to her first child in a remote area, during the peak hunger season in January 2013. Getting food was difficult for her and there was nobody to help as everyone struggled to survive in the islands along the River Nile. She had no parents to help her either. Abiar did not produce enough breast milk for her child owing to the food stress. Although the child survived, her life fell apart and her dreams of having a prosperous family were marred.    


Caption: Goats’ milk has given little children this one an easy means of survival as they can no longer suffer hunger and rampant malnutrition in Jonglei state: photo by John Alier

In July 2015, however life turned for the better when she was targeted and registered as one of the beneficiaries of the livestock restocking program under the Jonglei Food Security program (JFSP). This happened two years after rebels looted her village of Pakon in Bor County during the December 2013 crisis.  

“It was in the evening when I returned from the water point, I found the chief and my brother-in-law waiting for me at home. My heart beat faster fearing what the big man wanted to say,” Abiar says.  

She still recalls the statement the chief said, “Abiar, you are very luck. CRS is now looking for vulnerable women like you to be given some goats that they will keep for 12 months, after which you give back 3 young goats share to another person from this village. It’s like a loan that is paid with no interest rate charged. Would you like that?” 


As widow and taking care of children, she did not have any means of feeding them. She saw this as an opportunity especially for her children who desperately needed milk. Goat milk is an essential component of children’s nutrition in Jonglei State. She accepted the offer without hesitation. Abiar built a small shelter in which she kept the three goats she received from the livestock fair.  

“… I looked after the goats properly so that the young ones are not attacked by monkeys and foxes. In a day five goats produce approximately one-and half to two liters of milk. At this point, it was like the flip of a coin . . ..  Some neighbors whom I used to ask milk from started coming to me for assistance with milk,” she says. 

By December 2016, Abiar had 13 goats from which she paid three to the next beneficiary, another vulnerable widow affected by the 2013 crisis. Four of the goats are lactating and are a source of milk for her children.   

“Goat’s milk is even better than cow’s milk. It is easy to digest and does well for children than cow’s milk,” she says.  

She is now planning to sell some of her goats and buy a cow for added security. Having goats and cows is a sign of social security. Since her husband passed away in 2012, she is no long just a woman, but now an important person in the community.  

“This program has empowered women by enabling them to own livestock like goats. I have voice over what they should be used for and when, nobody can come and take a male goat and use it for marriage or anything without my approval. When there is a meeting in the community, I am now asked to attend and contribute just like other people,” she continues.  

From June 2015 to February 2017, the program reached 725 women headed households with 1,932 goats, through the livestock restocking program in nine operational counties of Jonglei state. In addition to the livestock restocking program, Abiar is a vegetable farmer also supported by RFSP with seeds and tools and farming expertise. Her vegetable garden yields an average of 9,000 South Sudan pounds (USD75.00) income every month.

RFSP nourishes children in Jonglei state

Posted on Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

By John Alier

Anyier Marial, nearly—2 year old girl—-saw her world upside down after birth in 2015. Her parents were living in Poktap after they returned from Awerial displaced camp. Poktap is among the places highly devastated during the crossing, a situation which forced children lactating and pregnant mothers to Poor feeding and lack of proper hygiene at the household levels.  

The mother, Adior Thon, returned to Jonglei and settle in Poktap when Catholic relief Service (CRS) started starting distributing high energy biscuit (HEB).  

“My child was thin, inactive, always cry and refused to play,” Adior said. The mother of this little girl acknowledged the positive impact of HEB on her child after she enrolled her for this support in April 2017.  

Resilience and food Security Program ( RFSP ) distributes HEB to prevent physical and nutritional deterioration of IDPs or vulnerable groups in conflict affected areas. This activity satisfies the food requirement of Pregnant and children under the age of 2 years in terms of quantity and quality. The provision of HEB is the part of Supplementary Food Program (SFP) and aims to reduce the prevalence of malnutrition, and stop illness and deaths among those at-risk. HEB distribution implemented together with the DRR/FFA or can be implemented as a ‘stop-gap’ measure until sufficient food supply is established.  

“USAID support especially HEB contributes significantly to improving the life of my child. She became active and looking healthy after just few weeks, thanks to USAID for giving HEB”.  

Anthropometric parameters indicated a significant improvement on child nutritional status. Baseline measurements were taken before HEB distribution in April, 2017 indicated that the child Weight was 7.3kg indicating that the child was under risk of malnutrition. After the child received HEB, the post distribution measurements were taken two months later, her weight was 8.5kg. This second. The child’s weight increased by 1.2 kg, which indicated that the child status improved. 

Children under below five years of age, pregnant and lactating mothers are always under threat of malnutrition due to poor diet and frequent sicknesses they face. Between February and September 2017, recovery and food security program (RFSP) provided HEB to 4,471 malnourished children and women in Both Twic East, Duk, Pibor and Akobo, countries, rescuing them from detrimental diet.