For South Sudan mothers, COVID-19 shook a fragile foundation


              Paska Itwari Beda, the young mother of five children, prepares her husband's family reunion at their Juba, South Sudan home, Saturday, May 29, 2021. Even before the pandemic hit, South Sudanese women were accustomed to building lives on the edge of uncertainty. But COVID-19 is shaking that fragile foundation. The country is just a decade old and one of the world's most difficult places to raise children. (AP Photo/Adrienne Surprenant)
            
              Paska Itwari Beda's house is said to be near mliitary barracks in Juba, South Sudan. Beda, now 27, delivered her youngest children, twin girls, just weeks before coronavirus arrived in Africa. Along with the closing of borders and other pandemic restrictions, prices began rising for basic items such as cooking oil. Schools closed, and the paychecks for teachers - including Beda's husband, who had long supported the family with his steady salary - abruptly stopped. (AP Photo/Adrienne Surprenant)
            
              Paska Itwari Beda, the young mother of five children, sits at her Juba, South Sudan home, Saturday, May 29, 2021. Even before the pandemic hit, South Sudanese women were accustomed to building lives on the edge of uncertainty. But COVID-19 is shaking that fragile foundation. The country is just a decade old and one of the world's most difficult places to raise children. (AP Photo/Adrienne Surprenant)
            
              Paska Itwari Beda, the young mother of five children, is on the phone at her Juba, South Sudan home, Wednesday, May 26, 2021. Even before the pandemic hit, South Sudanese women were accustomed to building lives on the edge of uncertainty. But COVID-19 is shaking that fragile foundation. The country is just a decade old and one of the world's most difficult places to raise children. (AP Photo/Adrienne Surprenant)
            
              Paska Itwari Beda, the young mother of five children, prepares her husband's family reunion at their Juba, South Sudan home, Saturday, May 29, 2021. Even before the pandemic hit, South Sudanese women were accustomed to building lives on the edge of uncertainty. But COVID-19 is shaking that fragile foundation. The country is just a decade old and one of the world's most difficult places to raise children. (AP Photo/Adrienne Surprenant)
            
              A photo of one of Paska Itwari Beda's five children hangs on the wall at her Juba, South Sudan home, Saturday, May 29, 2021. Even before the pandemic hit, South Sudanese women were accustomed to building lives on the edge of uncertainty. But COVID-19 is shaking that fragile foundation. The country is just a decade old and one of the world's most difficult places to raise children. (AP Photo/Adrienne Surprenant)
            
              Paska Itwari Beda, the young mother of five children, shares a meal with her family at her Juba, South Sudan home, Thursday, May 27, 2021. The young mother of five children - all of them under age 10 - sometimes survives on one bowl of porridge a day, and her entire family is lucky to scrape together a single daily meal, even with much of the money Beda makes cleaning offices going toward food. (AP Photo/Adrienne Surprenant)