Statement by the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, Mr. Toby Lanzer: "Over 300,000 people left without life-saving aid in Unity State"

Juba, 11 May 2015: “Ongoing hostilities in Unity state have now obliged all non-governmental organisations and UN agencies to evacuate staff from Leer and other locations. The humanitarian response south of Bentiu in Unity state has, as such, come to a stop.

As a consequence, over 300,000 civilians who are in need of emergency relief, including food aid and medical services, do not currently have access to such life-saving assistance.

Renewed violence in southern Unity comes at a time when stocks of food are depleted, and precisely at the height of the traditional planting season when civilians could be planting their crops in order to reap a harvest later this year.

Aid agencies are committed to returning to all areas of southern Unity and continuing emergency operations there as soon as it is safe for them to do so. I therefore call for assurances from the parties to the conflict that the work of aid agencies on behalf of populations in need, based on the principles of humanity, impartiality and neutrality, can continue without delay.”

For more information, contact:

Tapiwa Gomo, Head of Communication, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in South Sudan (gomo@un.org / +211 922406079)

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.