The regional director of the International Organization for Migration has challenged aid agencies in South Sudan to move away from humanitarian response to recovery and development programs.
This, Mohamed Abdiker says will enable South Sudanese, particularly those currently depending on humanitarian assistance to stand on their own.
“We are looking at how we can move away from just humanitarian assistance to more of recovery transition and development and how do we work with our development partners on these issues and how we can work with the government of South Sudan on this aspect,” Mohamed Abdiker, IOM’s regional director for East and Horn of Africa said at a press conference in Juba on Friday after his six-day working trip.
“Most importantly for me and also IOM right now is how we can move out from this vicious circle of humanitarian assistance every single year. We understand clearly that we do have South Sudanese nationals who require humanitarian assistance every day, we understand some people have been displaced but we cannot continue with the idea of handing out temporary shelters and blankets and food every single year 10 years after independence,” he quipped.
Mr. Abdiker also appealed to parties to the peace agreement to exert more efforts in implementing the peace agreement to create a peaceful environment for the smooth transition of the conflict-ravaged country.
He further reiterated calls for international donors to channel more support to capacity building and strengthening human resources if a self-reliant and resilient country is to be realized.
“We want to maintain the humanitarian response, we are not saying that we are moving away from the humanitarian response because we still have South Sudanese who require humanitarian assistance. But we are advocating our international partners and everyone at this time to start moving on transitional recovery and development,” the IOM’s regional director for East and Horn of Africa explained.
“We can’t let South Sudan continue to be in the humanitarian field all year-round. It’s not right that people just sit and get handouts every end of the month,”Mr. Abdiker added.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, some 8.3 million people in South Sudan are estimated to need humanitarian assistance in 2021.
These include 8 million South Sudanese and 310,000 refugees and asylum seekers.
The UN says the number of people in need of food assistance this year is the highest since South Sudan gained independence in 2011.
“We would like to change that into a point that South Sudanese can stand on their two feet and be able to move forward and develop their country,” Mr. Abdiker added.
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