Aid agencies in Jonglei mount response for up to 25,000 civilians stranded in the bush

Statement by the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, Mr. Toby Lanzer

Juba, 18 July 2013: "Expanded access within Pibor county, Jonglei State, since 14 July has enabled aid agencies to assess the needs of up to 25,000 civilians who have sought refuge in the bush near Dorein and Labrab villages following recent fighting.

Non-governmental organisations and UN agencies have a joint team on the ground and are urgently providing relief such as medical assistance, water purification tablets and plastic sheeting to civilians, most of whom are women and children. I am particularly concerned that some children show signs of measles, a fatal disease in such conditions.

Civilians stranded in the bush need not only peace and security, but also freedom of movement so that they can access services in towns such as Boma, Gumuruk and Pibor. Basic services can be provided by humanitarian organizations assuming that all parties ensure unhindered and continuous access, as well as an environment which is safe and welcoming for non-governmental organisations and UN agencies.

The emergency response mounted this week in Pibor county comes in addition to ongoing programmes in other counties of the state, including Akobo, Bor and Pochalla. These are part of nationwide relief programmes outlined in the Consolidated Appeal for South Sudan, which currently has a funding shortfall of $472 million."

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

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