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Press Release: Humanitarian community in South Sudan scales up response to save lives

(Juba, 18 December 2020) Following the release of the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report, the Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, Alain Noudéhou, re-iterated the commitment of the humanitarian community to scale up its response to meet people’s increasing needs and to save lives.  

The IPC analysis projects that by mid-2021, an estimated 7.24 million people or 60 per cent of the South Sudanese population will face severe acute food insecurity and will need urgent assistance. Many of the families have exhausted their emergency coping strategies. Around 1.4 million children under age 5 are expected to be acutely malnourished in 2021, which is the highest number in three years.

“The deterioration of the food security situation in the country is alarming and will require immediate action. This year, with generous contributions from donors and funding from the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund and the South Sudan Humanitarian Fund, UN agencies and NGOs – many of them South Sudanese – have worked diligently to provide humanitarian support, including food assistance, to more than 6 million people. Humanitarian organizations are now increasing their response in priority areas in Greater Pibor, Jonglei and Warrap to provide food assistance, health and nutrition support, protection services and clean water to people in need,” says the Humanitarian Coordinator.

“It has been a truly difficult year for the people of South Sudan. The country has been hit hard by a second consecutive year of major flooding, as well as by widespread sub-national violence and COVID-19 related restrictions. The currency depreciation and other economic problems have added to an already challenging context, leading to a dramatic rise in acute food insecurity. We are scaling up our response activities now to provide much-needed assistance to people and to avoid further deterioration,” said Mr. Noudéhou.

After six months of flooding, waters are receding in many areas. The anticipated improvement in road conditions should expedite the delivery of lifesaving aid to people and the pre-positioning of supplies into remote areas. At the same time, the approaching dry season has in the past seen an increase in fighting and insecurity, putting the lives of civilians and aid workers at risk.

“People are suffering in many parts of the country and desperately need help. They should be able to access assistance without fear, and humanitarians should have safe and unimpeded access to them. The fighting and the violence should stop if we are to see improvement in the humanitarian situation and for the country to recover toward a lasting peace,” stressed the Humanitarian Coordinator.

With the humanitarian appeal for 2020 significantly underfunded, additional resources are needed to support the response. An immediate injection of funding is urgently needed. Further investments will be also be required in the coming months to strengthen communities’ and people’s capacity to cope with these recurring shocks.

Operation(s)/ Webspace(s): 
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Original Publication Date: 
18 Dec 2020
Document type: 
Press Release