Older people facing malnutrition in conflict-torn South Sudan are to benefit from a joint programme launched by Islamic Relief and HelpAge International.

The three year programme, launched in Juba last month, will help hundreds of vulnerable households to meet their immediate and longer-term food needs. Funded by the government of Germany, the scheme focusses on badly nourished older people in Warrap State, which is one of the areas most affected by ongoing conflict that has displaced in excess of 1.4 million people so far.

Alfadil Ali, Islamic Relief’s Head of Mission for South Sudan, said: “The protracted conflict in South Sudan has worsened already alarming rates of hunger within the country. Older people, who typically have limited livelihoods opportunities and resilience, are among the most affected.

“Through this programme, about 210 of the most vulnerable households in Warrap’s Tonj North County will receive immediate food aid. Those able to travel to food centres will be given food vouchers, and we will be delivering food parcels to those who cannot reach a centre.”

An influx of internally displaced people into Warrap state has seen displaced families and local people competing for already scarce resources. The programme also aims to improve food security for vulnerable families by showing them how to set up food gardens – and offering nutritional advice.

In addition, Islamic Relief – which serves communities in South Sudan from two offices in the world’s newest nation – will provide affected people with water and sanitation services, as well as much-needed livelihoods and food security support.