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Quarterly Humanitarian Access Snapshot: July-September 2020

According to reports received, humanitarian access to people in need improved between July and September, partly due to a decrease in sub-national violence with the onset of the rainy season. A total of 117 reported access incidents took place in the third quarter, a 29 per cent decrease from 163 in the second quarter.

Half of all incidents involved violence, or threat thereof, against humanitarian workers and assets. Two aid workers were killed in Jonglei’s Duk County while providing health and nutrition services to community members, primarily for women and children. This significantly impacted healthcare provision in the area and brought the number of aid workers killed since 2013 to 122. The quarter saw numerous attacks on clearly marked humanitarian vehicles. Thirteen ambushes caused injuries to humanitarian personnel and damaged assets. Although the number of ambushes decreased through 2020 as road conditions deteriorated with the rainy season – from 24 in the first to 20 in the second and 13 in the third quarter – the 13 ambushes are a sharp increase from the third quarter in 2019 when only 6 ambushes were reported.

Escalated hostilities in Central Equatoria between the South Sudan People's Defence Forces/Sudan People's Liberation Army in Opposition and the National Salvation Front hindered the delivery of assistance in Kajo-keji, Morobo and Yei, and restricted access to vulnerable people in Lobonok. Humanitarians were detained and harassed when military commanders demanded them to transport wounded soldiers by plane.

Humanitarians in Upper Nile continued to experience frequent access issues, primarily due to operational interference and bureaucratic impediments. An aid worker was reportedly detained for five days on tax-related issues in Tonga. Bureaucratic impediments led to the suspension of humanitarian activities and relocation of six humanitarian workers in Malakal and Melut counties. In total, 16 aid workers were relocated in the third quarter, a decrease from the 66 staff relocated in the second quarter but an increase from 7 relocated between July and September 2019.

Following the onset of flooding, humanitarian services were suspended, staff relocated and roads to affected people washed away in many areas. COVID-19 related access incidents decreased from the second quarter with eased internal travel, but aid workers still faced harassment and intimidation when responding to the pandemic.

Operation(s)/ Webspace(s): 
Organization(s): 
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Original Publication Date: 
20 Oct 2020
Map/Infographic Type: 
Humanitarian Snapshot