September 15, 2022 (JUBA) – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has called for safe and secure passage of food and other humanitarian assistance into conflict-affected areas of Upper Nile and Jonglei states, amidst renewed conflict which has displaced thousands of families and left an unknown number of civilians dead or injured.
WFP, in a statement issued on Friday, said it depends on river transport to reach rural and remote communities during the rainy season, when roads become inaccessible.
“However, due to a deterioration in the security situation along the White Nile, WFP has had to suspend its barge movement between Adok and Malakal as the waterways have become inaccessible, to the detriment of communities in the firing line,” it reads in part.
The agency expressed concerns that several attempts to negotiate access to reach communities facing emergency and catastrophic levels of food insecurity have failed.
On Saturday September 10, according to the agency, its river convoy carry 1,151 metric tons of food meant for communities in Fangak, Canal/Pigi and Panyikang counties was forced to turn back after clashes between the conflicting parties resumed enroute.
These three counties, WFP stated, already have some of the highest instances of food insecurity in the country with 55-60% of the population of Fangak and Canal/Pigi counties expected to be in emergency or famine-like conditions by now, and unable to meet their food needs.
“The cost of inaction will be severe with the very real possibility of famine if we cannot access these communities immediately,” said Adeyinka Badejo, acting Country Director for WFP South Sudan, adding “It is completely unacceptable that we have WFP convoys carrying food assistance that can save lives but are simply unable to get through”.
The top humanitarian official urged all parties to the conflict need to respect international humanitarian law and allow safe passage of WFP and other humanitarian cargo.
“We are running out of time to prevent people from dying of hunger,” he further stressed.
Prior to this latest outbreak of conflict, there had been sustained efforts to build food security and resilience for people in Fangak, Canal/Pigi, and Panyikang counties.
WFP said it supported the construction of 16kms of dykes around both Old and New Fangak, protecting communities from the flood waters that have been sweeping through communities across the north of the country for the past four years.
Additionally, the agency said, almost 180,000 people have been receiving life-saving food and nutrition assistance across Fangak and Canal/Pigi counties, preventing deterioration of food and nutrition security.
President Kiir encourages household farmers to engage in agricultural activities to improve livelihood
JUBA, 24th September (Office of the President) – His Excellency President Salva Kiir Mayardit on Saturday had encouraged every household farmer to engage in agricultural and other productive activities in order to collectively improve the livelihood of the people.
A statement the President made while on inspection visit to his Rice and Maize plantation farm in Luri.
President Kiir said some of the plantations like Rice and Maize at his farm are ready for harvest.
President Kiir has ventured into farming during some of his free time mostly on Weekends as an example to lead and encourage the people to engage in agricultural activities in order to collectively improve the livelihoods.
The President also appreciated those that responded to his call and are using some of their free time to engage in agriculture and other productive activities, something that he urges every individual South Sudanese to embark on during their free time.
“This is the rice plantation, some plantations ready for harvest. if every household across the Country does this, we would have sufficient food, and we would not be complaining of food shortage and hunger. I encourage every household to do something productive and innovative for themselves.” said President Salva Kiir at his farm in Luri during the inspection today.
Speaking to the Press after the field visit, the Executive Director in the Office of the President Hon. James Deng Wal said the people of South Sudan are blessed with a very fertile land that don’t need fertilisers for productivity.
Wal added that the President is encouraging every household to take up the tools and carry out farming for personal consumption.
Thousands of displaced people need aid in Ayod
More than 60,000 displaced people in parts of Ayod County of Jonglei State are in dire need of humanitarian assistance, local officials said.
Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Thursday, James Chuol Jiek, Ayod County commissioner, said those families were displaced by floods and recent fighting between armed groups in Fangak and Pigi Counties.
The commissioner pointed out that most of the displaced have been living in the open and without food since arriving in parts of the county a month ago.
“60,385 people displaced by recent fighting among SPLA-IO Kit-Gwang factions in Fangak and Pigi counties are now resettled in Ayod,” Chuol said.
“10, 000 resettled in Gog, 8,085 in Pagil, 13,000 in Pajiek, 9,500 in Khorwai, Mogog 10,050, 12,000 in Wau areas respectively.”
The local official called for aid for the displaced.
“A handful of people are absorbed into the local community, but the majority are just in the open. They are really suffering without food and shelter. Also, there are thousands of our returnees who came along with the displaced”, he said.
One displaced person John Gatjuol said they are yet to receive aid after arriving in Ayod in August. He called for humanitarian intervention.
For his part, Maker Ter, the acting Ayod Relief and Rehabilitation Commission coordinator, said the situation is dire.
“The displaced are in need of humanitarian assistance after crossing to our borders. They came on foot without anything because they were fleeing war. We have been engaging our partners but there has been no response. So, we are appealing to our national government and agencies to come and see the situation for themselves,” he added.
US embassy condemns killing of Bentiu health worker
JUBA – The United States Embassy in Juba on Tuesday issued a statement condemning the killing, yesterday, of a local medical doctor working for the World Health Organization (WHO) in Bentiu, the capital of the oil-rich Unity State.
On Monday morning, gunmen shot dead Dr. Daniel Deng Gatluak several times before he died while inspecting health facilities at Bieh camp, a neighborhood in Bentiu town where flood-displaced residents of Unity States are seeking higher ground.
The killing, officials told Sudans Post, was connected to a sectional feud in which relatives of the slain medical doctor are suspected to have killed a man related to the assailants a few years back.
In the statement obtained by Thejubamirror news Desk and the US embassy condemned the killing and urged the government of South Sudan to do more in protecting humanitarian workers who are delivering much-needed assistance to millions of the country’s citizens.
“The United States Embassy strongly condemns the September 19 killing of Dr. Daniel Deng Gatluak, a World Health Organization (WHO) health worker, who was working in Bentiu, Unity State,” the embassy said in the statement extended Thejubamirror news desk.
“Far too many aid workers have been killed in South Sudan. More must be done to protect the workers who deliver valuable and life-saving services to help the South Sudanese people, including the most vulnerable people of this country,” the statement added.
It further called “on the Government of South Sudan to create a safer environment for aid and humanitarian workers, and to bring to justice perpetrators of violence. Nearly 150 aid workers have been killed in South Sudan since 2013.”
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