South Sudan: Ceasefire could mean access to children
Juba, SOUTH SUDAN (January 18, 2014) – The ceasefire announced today in Addis Ababa between South Sudan’s government and opposition could mean that aid agencies can finally access areas where children and families have been suffering due to the conflict.
“Until now, several parts of South Sudan were simply inaccessible,” says Perry Mansfield, Programme Director for World Vision South Sudan. “We know that there are children across the country who need humanitarian assistance. Many have been separated from their families, haven’t had a meal in days, or are injured. They need our help whether it be in protection, food, or health services, but as long as violence continues to break out, we cannot get to them.”
The ceasefire is a first step to ensuring safe passage for aid workers, but several other actions need to be in place before agencies can send their teams to the most volatile areas. World Vision is working closely with the United Nations and other non-governmental organisations to continually assess the situation across the country.
“In any conflict, and South Sudan is no exception, children are always the most vulnerable. World Vision and other agencies are ready to move in to the areas where children have been most affected, as soon as it is deemed safe for us to do so. In light of this ceasefire, we hope it will be soon,” Mansfield adds.