Maintenance. We are currently updating the site. Please check back shortly

Thomson Reuters Foundation

Inform - Connect - Empower

Mercy Corps Warns of Imminent Humanitarian Catastrophe in South Sudan

Source: Mercy Corps - Thu, 24 Apr 2014 21:10 GMT
Author: Mercy Corps
hum-aid hum-hun hum-dis hum-rig hum-ref hum-peo
Many desperate families fled south to Ganyiel to escape the eruption of violence in Bentiu, South Sudan last week. Now, they face food shortages and are trying to survive on roots, grass and water lilies from the surrounding swamps.
Tweet Recommend Google + LinkedIn Email Print
Leave us a comment

Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 24, 2014

 

Contact:                 Lindsay Murphy, +1.503.896.5700, lmurphy@mercycorps.org                

 

Mercy Corps Warns of Imminent Humanitarian Catastrophe in South Sudan

Urges international community to take immediate action to protect civilians

                                                                                                       

Juba, South Sudan – The global humanitarian agency Mercy Corps, deeply concerned by the escalation of violence against civilians in South Sudan, warns the nation is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe. Signs of malnutrition are present and one-third of the population is at risk of famine by 2015. The onset of heavy rains exposes internally displaced persons in overcrowded areas to the possibility of a waterborne disease outbreak, such as cholera.

 

“Current humanitarian response structures cannot adequately address the increasingly dire situation,” says Mathieu Rouquette, South Sudan country director for Mercy Corps. “People are looking for shelter wherever they can — even sleeping in our temporary learning spaces — further straining already scarce resources.”

 

At least 90,000 South Sudanese civilians are seeking refuge in United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) bases across the country – 25,000 people in Bentiu, the capital of Unity State. The start of the rainy season and poor security conditions are making roads impassable, severely limiting the ability of humanitarian organizations to access and transport lifesaving supplies.

 

The international community must act quickly in order to protect civilians and prevent further atrocities. Mercy Corps urges:

  • All parties to the conflict immediately halt violence and implement commitments outlined in the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement;
  • The UNMISS base in Bentiu be reinforced with adequate peacekeeping capacities in order to ensure protection of civilians and prepare for a robust humanitarian operation;
  • All armed actors uphold their responsibilities under international humanitarian law and permit immediate and unconditional humanitarian access to civilians in areas they control;
  • The international diplomatic community engage in rapid-response preventive diplomacy to mitigate the threat of further violence, ensure protection of civilians and accelerate progress towards a legitimate political settlement;
  • The international donor community to fully fund the South Sudan Crisis Response Plan for 2014, currently only one-third funded, and capitalize on the Oslo donor conference to further galvanize international support and financing for lifesaving emergency response.

 

“There is an imminent risk of increasingly brutal fighting across the country,” says Rouquette. “Now is the moment to fulfill these commitments before the crisis spirals further out of control.”

 

About Mercy Corps Mercy Corps is a leading global humanitarian agency saving and improving lives in the world’s toughest places. With a network of experienced professionals in more than 40 countries, we partner with local communities to put bold ideas into action to help people recover, overcome hardship and build better lives. www.mercycorps.org.

${esc.hash}${esc.hash}${esc.hash}

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. For more information see our Acceptable Use Policy.

comments powered by Disqus
Most Popular
TOPICAL CONTENT
Topical content
LATEST SLIDESHOW

Latest slideshow

See allSee all
FEATURED JOBS
Featured jobs