UN urges South Sudan to enhance security to allow humanitarian response

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Labourers carry maize bags at a United Nations World Food Program (WFP) warehouse in Yambio, South Sudan, March 5, 2020. Gale Julius/Xinhua/
Labourers carry maize bags at a United Nations World Food Program (WFP) warehouse in Yambio, South Sudan, March 5, 2020. (Xinhua/Gale Julius)

The United Nations has called on South Sudanese authorities to boost peace and security in Pibor and Akobo, in Jonglei State, to allow humanitarian response amid food insecurity in the two regions.

Alain Noudehou, the UN resident coordinator in South Sudan, said renewed sub-national violence is hampering the response in parts of the country and urged the authorities to ensure the safety of humanitarian workers and assets.

“Without sustained security and stability, humanitarian needs will continue to grow. I call on all relevant authorities to ensure peace in these communities. The violence must stop,” Noudehou said in a statement issued in Juba on Tuesday evening.

The UN relief official visited Pibor and Akobo on Tuesday and met members of humanitarian organizations serving communities in these highly food-insecure areas.

According to the UN, South Sudan is facing its highest levels of food insecurity and malnutrition since the country declared independence 10 years ago.

The upcoming lean season at mid-year is expected to be the most severe on record, the world body warned.

According to Noudehou, since early warnings started coming in about people’s conditions in these counties, humanitarian organizations adopted a “no-regrets” approach and began scaling up their services with an immediate injection of 13 million U.S. dollars from the South Sudan Humanitarian Fund.

Humanitarian organizations have been intensifying their efforts since late last year to save lives and meet vulnerable people’s needs in South Sudan, prioritizing six counties identified as the most food insecure: Pibor, Akobo, Aweil South, Tonj East, Tonj North and Tonj South.

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