By Deng Machol
JUBA, South Sudan – UN Humanitarian Coordinator called for a joint action to address humanitarian crisis in South Sudan and an end to attacks against civilians and humanitarians workers.
“It takes a village to raise a child. In the same way, it takes an array of partners to support crisis-affected people. We need urgent collective efforts to help the vulnerable population in South Sudan,” said Ms. Sara Beysolow Nyanti, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan.
She made a statement on Thursday ahead of World Humanitarian Day
Nyanti also commended the humanitarian workers and all those risking their own lives to alleviate the suffering and save the lives of others.
Ms. Nyanti, however said five humanitarian workers were killed in the line of duty in South Sudan since the beginning of 2022.
She stated that South Sudan continues to be the most violent context for aid workers, followed by Afghanistan and Syria.
Across the country, Nyanti stated that humanitarian workers, particularly nationals are affected by the impact of armed violence, bureaucratic impediments, and targeted violence.
At least 232 incidents related to humanitarian access constraints were reported between 1 January and 30 July this year.
“The humanitarian workers are to help people but unfortunately the same people are killed – they are attacked,” Nyanti told journalists in the press conference in Juba’s capital of South Sudan. “They are overwhelmingly South Sudanese – they are not international,” she added.
She said they are killed by South Sudanese who do not understand the factor that they are fighting humanitarian and poverty gaps.
She argued any attack against aid workers is a violation of international humanitarian law.
“As humanitarian workers should not be attacked – the women should not be attacked, said Nyanti.
The humanitarian access remains constraints across the country.
She said Jonglei and Central Equatoria states which account for 40% of all reported incidents since the beginning of the year.
The women and girls are also facing protection risks including conflict related and gender-based sexual violence, armed violence, crimes, abductions, and destruction of properties.
“Impunity is a perpetuating factor and a driver of conflict and insecurity. There is an urgent need to bring perpetrators to justice,” stated Ms. Nyanti.
“All armed factions must immediately cease targeting civilians, humanitarian personnel and their assets. Impunity must end,” she added.
As the crisis in South Sudan continues, the humanitarian community and partners step up to respond every day by providing food and livelihood support, health, nutrition and clean water, protection services and emergency education to millions of women, children and men.
“I would like to highlight and honour the humanitarians, especially women, who work tirelessly on the frontlines in most difficult environment, trying to reach thousands of crisis-affected people,” said Ms. Nyanti.
People of South Sudan are affected by catastrophic shocks, including biblical flood and the country five years conflict.
At least 8.9 million people are facing food insecurity in South Sudan , according to UN.
Of recently, the humanitarian agencies received a donation of 223 and 9 million US dollar by United States of America and Japan respectively.
The Humanitarian sectors appeal for more funding to help people in dire need of aid assistance.
“We are looking forward for 80% more funding so that we can cover needs of 8.9% of South Sudanese in dire situation. We only targeted 6.8% of them with our 42% funding”, said Nyanti.
She further cautioned all parties against targeting humanitarian workers who have dedicated their services to helping people who are suffering in South Sudan due to political, ethnic and natural catastrophes.
“Humanitarian workers are life savers not job creators in private sector, and are operating with principles of humanity and impartiality. Why are they being targeted for killing while doing their work to save lives”, she asked.