Global organization Mercy Corps calls for urgent cease-fire
JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN – On the fourth anniversary of the start of the conflict in South Sudan, Mercy Corps is calling for an immediate cease-fire, which the global organization says is urgently needed to save lives in the country.
In four short years, four million civilians out of a population of 12 million have been forced to flee their homes, with 2.1 million made refugees in other countries in what is now Africa’s largest refugee crisis.
“The situation in South Sudan is deteriorating faster than we thought possible. The most vulnerable South Sudanese continue to bear the brunt of the conflict and economic decline in the country. More than half of the population is in dire need of humanitarian assistance,” says Francesco Lanino, Mercy Corps’ Acting Country Director for South Sudan.
Mercy Corps is working in South Sudan to meet the urgent needs of families displaced by fighting with emergency cash payments, by providing water and hygiene support to stave off disease such as cholera, and supporting 80,000 children through school feeding and education activities.
In Uganda, where more than one million South Sudanese have sought refuge, Mercy Corps is supporting farmers with seeds and other agricultural inputs to enable them to plant and harvest food to feed their families.
According to the United Nations this week, which published its Humanitarian Response Plan for 2018, the situation in the country is expected to continue to deteriorate next year. The UN called for $1.7 billion in funds to meet humanitarian needs in the country.
“Despite a famine declaration earlier this year, which highlighted the imminent starvation of tens of thousands of people, the international community continues to neglect the situation in South Sudan” says Lanino. “We need renewed attention on this crisis and an urgent cease-fire. Millions of people hang in the balance and we cannot allow more lives to be lost.”
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