NGOs bemoan taxes in South Sudan


South Sudan Humanitarian Coordinator, Anita Kiki Gbeho

from RAJI BASHIR in Khartoum, Sudan
Sudan Bureau
KHARTOUM, (CAJ News) – HUMANITARIAN partners in South Sudan have called for the removal of taxes and charges recently imposed by the government.

The United Nations (UN) was forced to pause life-saving airdrops of food assistance as fuel runs low as a result.

More than 60 000 people have already been affected. This number is forecast to increase to 140 000 by the end of May, should the measures remain in place.

Anita Kiki Gbeho, the Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan, urged the government to exempt UN and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) from taxes and charges.

“We have already had to pause airdrops, which is impacting families in the hardest-to-reach locations within the context of already pared-back humanitarian operations,” the envoy said.

“We call on the Government of South Sudan to uphold all agreements with humanitarians, including our NGO partners, and immediately remove new taxes and fees so that we can continue to support people in need.”

Since February, South Sudan has imposed a series of new taxes and charges at border crossings and in the country.

Although the government has assured that these taxes will be removed, there has been no written commitment to date.

It is forecast these measures would add US$339 000 monthly to the cost of food assistance and the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) operations.

This is enough to feed over 16 300 people for a month.

“It is vital that our limited funds are spent on saving lives and not bureaucratic impediments,” Gbeho underscored.

An estimated 9 million people in South Sudan need protection and humanitarian assistance in 2024.

– CAJ News

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