If we are to avoid a famine in South Sudan, the time to act is now
On 15 June, six months since conflict broke out in South Sudan, Oxfam’s South Sudan Country Director a.i. Emma Jane Drew said:
“Today marks six months since the onset of the crisis that stopped South Sudan’s projected exponential economic development in its tracks, and forced more than 1.3 million people from their homes. In this short time the conflict has taken thousands of lives and destroyed the livelihoods of millions. The people of South Sudan have been exposed to a triple crisis – conflict, hunger and disease – and with the rains now in full swing, the situation only stands to deteriorate.
“If we are to avoid a famine in South Sudan, the time to act is now. Humanitarian actors have managed to reach over a million people with food, water, shelter and other essential support since December, but millions more remain in need. If we don’t significantly scale up the response, 4 million people will go hungry in the coming months. This six-month mark is a harrowing reminder of the devastation caused in this short time and scale of need in this young nation. The international community must rapidly deliver on the promises made in Oslo, so we can respond in the areas that need it the most.
“The agreement reached in Addis on Tuesday between President Kiir and Dr Machar is also welcome, but it should not have taken six months to reach this point. Both parties to the conflict must genuinely commit to building a path to peace that is robust and enduring, and they must call on their troops to lay down their arms and stop putting the lives of their own citizens at risk.”
For more information or to request an interview contact Aimee Brown on +211 914 073 818 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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