UN Humanitarian Chief arrives in Juba, South Sudan
(New York / Juba, South Sudan, 1 February 2012): On the first day of a three-day mission to South Sudan, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC), Valerie Amos, met with representatives of aid agencies in Juba, the capital of the Republic of South Sudan, to discuss the multiple humanitarian challenges facing the world’s youngest nation.
Coming six months after South Sudan gained independence, Ms. Amos will view the humanitarian situation on the ground for herself, and draw international attention to the continuing challenges.
“South Sudan faces significant challenges, including hundreds of thousands of people displaced in 2011, people returning from Sudan and refugees from the ongoing conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states in Sudan. In addition, conflict, poverty, and increasing food insecurity are having a major humanitarian impact. The people of South Sudan need our support,” Ms. Amos said.
In South Sudan a relatively small number of aid organizations are dealing with approximately 30 simultaneous emergency operations in a vast, remote and insecure country. This brings tremendous logistical challenges. Aid agencies also briefed the ERC on their efforts to provide humanitarian aid in Jonglei State, the scene of recent inter-communal clashes.
“I am concerned about the scope and magnitude of the violence communities have inflicted on each other in Jonglei, as well as about the conflict between rebel militias and the army that has killed, wounded and displaced so many,” Ms. Amos said.
“Diversity in South Sudan should be a source of both communal and national pride. I hope that everyone in South Sudan will embrace their identity as South Sudanese, and achieve long term reconciliation and peace,” she said.
On 2 February, the ERC will travel to Jonglei State, where she will see the aid operation first hand and meet representatives of the Government and aid agencies, as well as those affected by the clashes. On 3 February, Ms. Amos is scheduled to meet Mr. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of South Sudan, Mr. Joseph Lual Acuil, Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Mr. Duer Tut Duer, Chairperson of the South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission, and members of the diplomatic community.
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