WFP sounds alarm over declining humanitarian affairs
By Kitab Unango
South Sudan is battling the worst humanitarian situation in decades, placing at least 6.7million people in dire need of aid, the World Food Program (WFP) country representative Mathew Hollingsworth has said.
Hollingsworth said the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened existing humanitarian condition the country has been experiencing due to perpetuated insecurity, desert locust invasion and flooding.
Hollingworth, who was delivering speech during the launch of COVID-19 Cessna Caravan donated by the United Nations Agency for International Development (USAID) said it requires more partnership than before to avert the situation.
“Today, I would like to stress the importance of partnership. The pandemic makes partnership more important than ever, in the face of unprecedented challenge,” Hollingworth said.
Over the past months, there has been recurring cattle raids and inter-communal violence that have displaced thousands and claimed lives of hundreds other in most parts of the country, including Jongle State, Pibor Administrative Area, Lakes and warrap States.
The violence undermined efforts of humanitarian workers to access and deliver assistance to vulnerable people as well as curb spread of coronavirus in remote parts of the country.
The continued surge in intercommunal violence forced humanitarian organizations to pull out over safety and security concerns.
Hollingworth said it was his hope that the plane donated would ease movements of aid workers across the country and transporting patients and samples to reduce the spread of viral COVID-19.
The Undersecretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Mayem Machut who took part during the launch of the plane said it was very hard and challenging to collect samples and follow-up contacts in remote parts of the country due to poor infrastructure.
“With the means available to reach even the remote parts of the country, I am sure the rate of infection is going to drop,” Machut said.
The country total number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the country has surpassed 2000, with 40 deaths and 954 recoveries.
The United Nations Ambassador to South Sudan, Thomas Hushek emphasized collaboration among aid organizations and the government to mitigate humanitarian situation in the country.
“South Sudan is a kind of a place which requires working multilaterally and I want to say categorically that we will continue to work multilaterally here in South Sudan,” Hushek said.