South Sudan – Statement from Nipin Gangadharan, Head of Program, East Africa, Action Against Hunger (January 14, 2014):
“The humanitarian situation in South Sudan’s core conflict areas is dire. While many IDP locations have received media attention, they represent only a small portion of the total displacements. Many more people are scattered in the vastness that is South Sudan, and many remain unreachable due to ongoing fighting, literally cut off from aid.
Finding and reaching these people is a tremendous challenge, given the widespread nature of fighting and a lack of reliable information. As days turn into weeks and weeks into almost a month since the crisis began, the utmost priority is to have at least a temporary cessation of hostilities to enable humanitarian access before the human cost of this conflict gets any higher.
We’re also concerned about longer-term effects. The fighting could increase food insecurity as planting season approaches, which could lead to a much larger catastrophe—one not defined by local fighting but that blankets entire states with hunger.
Action Against Hunger has continued providing lifesaving nutrition services throughout the crisis, though we scaled down our less emergency-focused programs during its peak. As of January 13th, our nutrition programs in three counties are expected to be running at full capacity, serving more than 3,000 children across 22 nutrition outpatient centers.
We’re looking into restarting our water and food security programs, too. We have already started IDP assistance in Twic County to reach more than 4,500 people with nutrition, water, and sanitation services, and we’ve provided water testing equipment to two camps in Juba that are hosting nearly 25,000 people. We are currently evaluating expansion of our programs to critical areas within the conflict region, to boost our response on the ground.
We have screened 1,924 IDP children for malnutrition and admitted a total of 219 children into our treatment programs. We are also in the process of setting up a mobile outpatient program to cater exclusively to the needs of the IDP populations in the next couple of days. Close to 1,000 IDP households have received water, sanitation and hygiene items of various kinds from Action Against Hunger.”
– Nipin Gangadharan, Head of Program, East Africa, Action Against Hunger (January 14, 2014)