February 28, 2017, Juba – Save the Children strongly condemn the looting of is compound and warehouse in Waat former Jonglei State, allegedly by both armed groups and members of the community in the area.
Mr. Peter Walsh the Country Director for Save the Children in South Sudan said, “To be honest this is the most extreme act by the very people we are trying to help, to rob more than 1500 malnourished children of the much needed assistance we have been providing in our feeding centres.” …even the nutrition supplies that are for very sick children were looted, this is totally unacceptable” he added
Save the Children is the only nutrition partner in Waat providing life-saving services to children, an area classified by the recent IPC as phase 4, at the brink of famine. “The looting means right now we can no longer provide life-saving assistance to thousands of acutely malnourished children.” he further said
“We strongly urge the local authority in the area to investigate the incident and ensure that all supplies are returned” Mr. Walsh further stressed
“As we battle to counter the spread of famine declared last week, it is critical that parties to the conflict provide unimpeded humanitarian access to the affected community to avoid famine becoming their death sentence.” He further said
Waat and other parts of former northern Jonglei remained largely peaceful following the outbreak of the conflict in 2013 and thousands of civilians from former Upper Nile, and central Jonglei sought safety in Waat and Akobo. The escalation of conflict in these already vulnerable communities is a big concern for the host community and the Internally Displaced Persons, (IDP) some of them have already been displaced multiple times in the course of the 3 years of conflict.
Insecurity and lack of access have left some 100,000 people facing starvation in parts of South Sudan where famine was declared on 20 February, and a further one million are on the brink of famine. By the height of the lean season in July, it is expected that some 5.5 million people will be severely food insecure across the country. Since December 2013, about 3.4 million people have been displaced, including nearly 1.9 million people who have been internally displaced and about 1.5 million who have fled as refugees to neighbouring countries. Humanitarian organizations are urgently appealing for funding to respond to the escalating crisis, with US$1.6 billion required to provide life-saving assistance and protection to some 5.8 million people across South Sudan in 2017.
For further information or to arrange media interviews with Peter Walsh, please contact Emmanuel Kenyi +211 922407209 or Emmanuel.firstname.lastname@example.org