17th January 2021
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Gov’t told to ‘step up, ensure unhindered humanitarian access’

Author: Daniel Danis | Published: Thursday, December 31, 2020

Senator Jim Risch, U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman. Credit|Twitter/@SenateForeign

The United State Senate Foreign Relations Committee has called on the government of South Sudan to immediately ensure unhindered humanitarian access to people in need across the country.

I’m deeply concerned by reports of famine in South Sudan, intensified by floods and violence,” the committee’s Chairman tweeted.

Senator Jim Risch underscored the importance of the work of the World Food Program and USAID to save lives in the country “but can’t do it alone.”

Two weeks ago, the government and several UN agencies said parts of South Sudan are facing “catastrophic” food shortages fueled by conflict.

Figures released by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification estimates that between October and November, up to 6.5 million people faced severe acute food insecurity, and require urgent assistance.

This number is projected to grow to 7.24 million between April and July 2021.

It identified tens of thousands of people to be likely to face acute malnutrition and even mortality in Pibor, Akobo, Aweil South, Tonj East, Tonj North and Tonj South.

In a Twitter post, the Chairman of the U.S Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Jim Risch, urged all stakeholders to step up efforts to assist those in dire need.

He particularly asked the government to ensure the safety of aid workers and facilitate the free movement of humanitarian agencies.

“Others need to step up, and the government of South Sudan must ensure unhindered humanitarian access,” Senator Risch asserted.

Recently, the Heads of diplomatic missions in South Sudan called for partnership among the donors, humanitarian agencies, and the government to fully address the humanitarian needs.

But an expert on International Conflict and Resolution said ending famine and silencing the guns “can only come to fruition if everyone respects weapons embargo, laws and international norms.”

“Otherwise its chaos and endless famine,” Fatheya Gelleh said.

She blames South Sudan military elites and corrupt officials for diverting funds required to build a stable and secure country.

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