South Sudan's parliament has unanimously passed a bill that would more closely regulate the NGO sector in the world's youngest country.
In response, Zlatko Gegic, Country Director for Oxfam South Sudan, said:
“While we understand the need for appropriate regulation of non-government organizations, we must ensure any regulation fosters a robust and independent civil society and provides for the delivery of life-saving humanitarian assistance.
"We are deeply concerned that this Bill may make it more difficult for NGOs to do our work. We need clarification of a number of key provisions for us to understand its full impact.
“With 3.5 million people projected to be facing severe hunger by the end of June, we need an enabling regulatory environment that allows humanitarians to access communities in both government and opposition areas to deliver assistance safely.
“Aid is making a difference but there are still more than 6 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. We are appealing to all armed actors to immediately end the violence, to remove any obstacles to access, and facilitate the safe and timely delivery of assistance in order to prevent further deterioration and save thousands – perhaps hundreds of thousands – of lives."