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Humanitarian situation is worsening – aid groups

Author: Gale Azaria | Published: Friday, August 20, 2021

A village under water in Unity State | Credit | Courtesy

The situation across the country is worsening on daily basis as floods continue to cause havoc and devastation, South Sudan’s Humanitarian Country Team has said.

Most parts of the country are said to have collapsed into a state of humanitarian need, where the basics of survival — food, medicines, and clean drinking water – are non-existent.

Thousands of people have been displaced to higher grounds in Jonglei, Unity, Upper Nile, and Western Equatoria state.

Aid agencies say the situation is dire mostly in Unity and Jonglei states where water from last year’s floods had not receded.

A Joint UN and Humanitarian Mission team say large fields are waterlogged and people, including livestock, have been isolated on small islands.

In Bentiu, more than 4,500 people displaced from the neighboring Counties are in urgent need of assistance.

“The situation, I have to say, is quite terrible with the things one can see from the plane – areas are flooded and you can see some of the houses and communities are living underwater,” said Peter Van der Auweraert, IOM South Sudan’s chief of mission and country representative, referring to Unity State.

For his part, the humanitarian coordinator ad interim in South Sudan said natural calamities and conflict-fueled migration patterns have led communities to seek safety on riverbanks, leaving them exposed to rising waters.

Arafat Jamal stated that this has eroded the ability of the population to recover and rebuild their lives.

Every year, South Sudan experiences torrential rains and seasonal flooding, including disaster displacements.

South Sudan’s Humanitarian Country Team has called for determined and collective climate action and a firm end to violence against civilians and aid workers.

Aid agencies note that the levels of food insecurity and malnutrition in South Sudan are at the highest since independence ten years ago.

They also called for the protection of humanitarian workers.

The Humanitarian Country Team emphasized that when aid workers are endangered or under attack, vulnerable people who need food, health services, access to clean water, nutrition and education services, are deprived of the much-needed help.

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