Fighting Must End in South Sudan Says UN Aid Chief
Fighting Must End in South Sudan Or Worsening Humanitarian Crisis Cannot Be Tackled, Says UN Aid Chief
Some 7.6 million people need aid across the world’s youngest nation, South Sudan, after long-simmering a political rivalry between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar erupted into full-fledged conflict in December 2013.
More than half of those in need – nearly 4.3 million – are displaced, including about 2.5 million who have fled to neighbouring countries. In addition, there is growing food insecurity, as well as the threat of deadly diseases such as cholera and malaria.
At the same time, the country is one of the most dangerous for humanitarian workers. Last year, 30 aid workers lost their lives – making it the deadliest year for aid workers on record. In addition, at least 1,159 humanitarian access incidents were reported, up from 908 in 2016 and 909 in 2015.
Against this backdrop, Mark Lowcock, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, recently went to the country to draw attention to the crisis, as well as drum up international support for the ongoing relief effort.
In Part 1 of our exclusive interview with Mr. Lowcock, who is also the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, UN News asked him about his mission and greatest humanitarian needs on the ground.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.