The return to fighting in South Sudan since 2013 has taken the lives of thousands, left well over 3 million displaced, and has created immeasurable suffering for the people of South Sudan due to violence, disease and malnutrition. Currently, 5.1 million are at risk of famine.
The May 23, 2016 letter from 75 organizations and prominent individuals to South Sudan’s leaders regarding the humanitarian crisis recommends the following “to ensure immediate authorization for humanitarian agencies to move throughout the country, including:
- Coordinating checkpoints with humanitarian actors and removing unauthorized checkpoints,
- Providing pre-clearance of all barge traffic by UN and humanitarian actors,
- Ending the practice of imposing illegal payments and arbitrary request for material support,
- Allowing civilians to move unimpeded to areas where they can access humanitarian assistance,
- Ceasing restrictions on international and local staff from carrying out humanitarian activities,
- Imposing a zero tolerance policy for those who impede humanitarian access,
- Coordinating between humanitarian actors, members of government, and civil society actors to ensure conflict sensitivity, thereby avoiding exacerbating tensions surrounding distribution and access to resources, and
- Requiring all commanders throughout the chain of command to immediately enforce the ceasefire and permit ceasefire monitors freedom of movement to accurately report progress.”
For current updates on South Sudan, check the United Nations OCHA reports.
SSWU is grateful for the tireless work of Doctors Without Borders, which has served in South Sudan since 1983. Click here to learn more and to donate.