“Families and communities affected by the conflict, heavy rains and floods are in dire need of help as they cannot meet basic needs such as food, safe drinking water, shelter and health services.”
Operational update of the southern Sudanese equatoria states: Thousands are threatened by hunger and disease after clashes and floods
Juba (ICRC) – Months of conflict followed by heavy rains have resulted in a worsening humanitarian crisis that puts communities in the central, west and east Equatorian states of South Sudan at increased risk of hunger, malnutrition and disease.
“We believe that there are many people who live in the bush and urgently need help,” said Amro Ibrahim, head of the ICRC’s sub-delegation in the equatoria. “We call on all parties to the conflict to meet their obligations under international humanitarian law in order to prevent human suffering and to ensure the protection of the civilian population and their property.”
The fighting between the National Salvation Front (NAS) – which did not sign the peace agreement – and the South Sudanese People’s Defense Forces, as well as between the NAS and the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement in the opposition broke out sporadically in the course of 2020.
“In May 2020, armed men came from all over the place, burned houses, raped women, beat and killed people. We had to run away to hide in the bush, ”said Michael *, a resident of a village that is now deserted in the state of Central Equatoria. “We lost everything. We lost our brothers and sisters, our loved ones. We eat wild fruits, roots, because we can no longer cultivate our fields. Because of the heavy rains, the little food we managed to save is now rotting. “
So far this year, the ICRC and the South Cross-Red Cross have reached more than 120,000 people affected by the conflict in the states of Central, West and East Equatoria with the help of food and relief supplies, as well as seeds, agricultural tools and fishing equipment.
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• Renewed clashes between the conflicting parties will worsen the humanitarian situation and are likely to lead to more displacement.
• Families and communities affected by the conflict, heavy rains and floods are in urgent need of support as they cannot meet basic needs such as food, safe drinking water, shelter and health services.
• Limited health services in these rural communities are more inaccessible due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the conflict. Displaced families remain at risk of malaria, malnutrition, water-borne diseases and other health problems.
• Access to displaced communities, especially those living in the bush, remains difficult. Conflict, insecurity on the streets and COVID-19 restrictions limit the ability of humanitarian organizations to move freely and to serve the most vulnerable at a time when access to these services remains critical.
• We call on all parties to the conflict to meet their obligations under international humanitarian law in order to prevent human suffering and attacks on civilians and their property.
• Between January and September 2020, the ICRC and the Red Cross in South Sudan supported over 120,000 people in the states of Central, West and East Equatoria in South Sudan.
o To meet the emergency needs of displaced families, 89,000 people received food (sorghum, beans, oil, salt and sugar) and over 35,000 people received basic necessities such as blankets, mosquito nets and soap.
o To help families rebuild their livelihoods, nearly 88,000 were given seeds and farm tools, and 18,000 were given fishing equipment.
• Together with the Red Cross in South Sudan, our teams will continue to assess and support the needs of the most vulnerable. This includes helping families separated by the conflict to reconnect with loved ones and receive family news.
• We continue to speak directly to the conflicting parties and have a dialogue about our humanitarian concerns regarding the conflict.