South Sudan Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 11 | 8 August 2016
UN Humanitarian Chief visits South Sudan and calls on all parties to uphold their responsibilities to protect civilians.
Since fighting erupted in Juba in mid-July, tens of thousands of people have fled South Sudan to neighbouring countries.
Cholera has been confirmed in Juba and Terekeka in Central Equatoria and the Duk Islands in Jonglei.
Malaria cases exceed 2015 levels.
UN Humanitarian Chief condemns violence against civilians and aid workers in South Sudan
The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, concluded a three-day mission to South Sudan on 3 August, calling for all parties to uphold their responsibilities to protect civilians, amidst fresh fighting that has displaced tens of thousands of people in multiple locations across the country.
“The people of this country have suffered far too much, and for far too long,” said USG O’Brien. “I am outraged by the heinous acts of violence that have been committed against civilians, including by members of the armed forces, and call for swift and decisive action to halt these abuses and bring the perpetrators to account.” In particular, the USG condemned sexual violence carried out against women and girls.
During his three-day visit, Mr. O’Brien met with humanitarian partners and Government officials, including His Excellency the President of the Republic of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit. In his meetings, the Emergency Relief Coordinator stressed that, “We humanitarians are here in South Sudan to save lives and for no other reason. Our task and our demand by the UN and beyond is to impartially meet the urgent and severe humanitarian and protection needs of the millions of suffering people in this country.”
Mr. O’Brien also travelled to the field to meet with people affected by the crisis. “My visit to Wau and Aweil was heart-wrenching,” said the Emergency Relief Coordinator. “The women I met in both locations told me that it is a daily struggle to keep themselves and their children alive, one for fear of violence, the other due to hunger.”
So far this year, aid workers have reached more than 2.8 million people with assistance and protection. However, the Humanitarian Response Plan for 2016 is only 41 per cent funded, leaving a gap of US$764 million. USG O’Brien emphasized that more funding is urgently required for the scale-up of the response across the country. Humanitarians from the UN and non-governmental organizations are ready to do so, but the resources are urgently needed.
Violence against aid workers and assets remains prevalent in South Sudan, as evidenced by the looting of vital humanitarian warehouses during and after the fighting in Juba. Since December 2013, at least 57 aid workers have been killed in South Sudan. In the first half of 2016, there were 261 reported incidents of violence against humanitarian staff/assets.
“Despite the daily challenges they face, aid workers across South Sudan - particularly NGOs on the frontlines of humanitarian action - are working tirelessly and courageously to bring desperately needed relief to people in need,” said Mr. O’Brien. “I categorically condemn all attacks against aid workers and assets and call on all those in leadership positions to step up and take action against these wholly unacceptable incidents. It is imperative that humanitarian organizations are granted free, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access, to reach all people in need, wherever they are.”
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