from RAJI BASHIR in Khartoum, Sudan
KHARTOUM, (CAJ News) – WORSENING inter-communal conflict and violence in the east of South Sudan are putting women, children and the elderly on the brink of another humanitarian crisis.
The catastrophe unfolding in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA) started before Christmas 2022.
It spilled into the current year and in Greater Pibor it has left about 50 000 people displaced and in dire need of humanitarian assistance.
All those displaced had already suffered two years of floods.
Recently, the Rapid Response Fund by the United Nations was allocated to support immediate short-term gaps in the Pibor response but non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are concerned that the conditions will continue to deteriorate as people require food and shelter.
“The humanitarian situation in Pibor is so bad that women and children sleep in the open with empty stomachs for days,” said a director of Oxfam.
The official lamented, “Women and children face high risk of starvation without an increase in humanitarian assistance.”
Attacks on humanitarian workers and assets are delaying delivery of life-saving and life-changing assistance in response to people critically affected by violence and other shocks.
So far, in 2023, three aid workers of South Sudanese origin have lost their lives in the line of duty.
“Such actions discourage humanitarian workers from playing their role while also watering down any effort to build on past gains,” said Cissy Kagaba, NGO Forum Secretariat Director.
It is anticipated the visit by Pope Francis this week will help retain peace in the world’s newest country, which gained independence in 2011 but has endured conflict since 2013.
– CAJ News