We cannot fail the South Sudanese: UN Humanitarian Chief
(New York / Juba, South Sudan, 3 February 2012): On the third day of a four-day visit to South Sudan, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC), Valerie Amos, met with representatives from the Government, the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS), and donor countries in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, to discuss the complex humanitarian challenges facing the world’s youngest nation.
Humanitarian conditions remain extremely precarious for many South Sudanese, with clashes along the country’s disputed border with Sudan that have forced tens of thousands of people to flee into South Sudan and with ongoing militia and inter-communal violence that poses a significant threat to the lives and livelihoods of civilians, most recently in Jonglei State. The influx of hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese returning from Sudan to a country with widespread food insecurity and high levels of vulnerability is also a significant concern.
In her meetings with Government representatives, Ms. Amos stressed the importance of partnership between the Government and the international community to meet the significant needs of the South Sudanese people. “The problems are enormous,” she said. “They can only be solved if we all work together. There is no other way.”
In addition to ongoing humanitarian concerns, she also discussed the situation of the up to 500,000 South Sudanese who may return to South Sudan from Sudan in the next few months. “People should be helped to return in safety and with dignity,” she said.
The UN and its partners have requested US$763 million in the 2012 appeal for South Sudan, covering 271 projects among 110 organizations. “We need this to be adequately funded early in 2012 to ensure we meet our commitments to the people of South Sudan,” she stressed. “If the necessary supplies are not purchased and pre-positioned in affected areas before the rains in the next months, if we do not boost the capacity of the humanitarian community and if the Government’s capacity is not further scaled up, the consequences for people in need could be dire,” she warned.
Please contact Cecilia Attefors in Juba, for details of any media opportunities: firstname.lastname@example.org +249 912 179084
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