FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 22 May 2015
JUBA – In the midst of a fresh outbreak of violence in South Sudan, World Vision has called on all parties in the conflict to ensure the safety of humanitarians so that aid organisations can reach those in need, especially children.
“We are gravely concerned for the children caught up in the latest wave of conflict,” said Fred McCray, Operations Director, World Vision South Sudan. “Children bear the brunt of conflict all too often and South Sudan seems to be no exception in this regard. We estimate that up to 50,000 children will be at risk of malnutrition if our programmes are suspended indefinitely,” he said.
Continued conflict is making this human tragedy even worse. - Fred McCray
Last week, World Vision relocated staff and suspended programs in Unity state. On Tuesday, they relocated staff and suspended programs in some locations of Upper Nile state where the organisation assists over 180,000 people. “Continued conflict is making this human tragedy even worse,” he said.
Since December 2014, World Vision has called upon donors to fully fund child protection and education programs so that they can meet the needs of children that are made vulnerable by the conflict.
“To date, only one percent of what was requested by the Central Humanitarian Fund for protection programs has been pledged,” said McCray. “It seems that those who are suffering the most in this war receive the least resources,” he said.
- World Vision's response to the South Sudan Crisis
- More violence creates increase in people who are displaced
Since the outbreak of the war in December 2013, World Vision has assisted over 600,000 people with food, water, child protection, education and non-food items such as mosquito nets and jerry cans.
“Just over 20 percent of those displaced by the conflict are in organised camps (PoCs). Most of them disperse into villages and towns throughout the country or create spontaneous settlements according to the UN,” said McCray. “World Vision has focused on helping people who live outside the PoCs - over 80 percent of our work in Unity and Upper Nile is focused on helping these people,” said McCray. “Our programs help to stop the abuse and exploitation of young children. Sadly, it looks as if the world is turning its’ back on the children of South Sudan,” he said.
World Vision joins with other Non-Government organisations in calling for safe access to civilian populations. “We call on all parties in this conflict to ensure the safety of humanitarians so that they can reach people, particularly children, with aid, and alleviate some of the suffering that the conflict is causing.”
For an interview with Fred McCray, please contact Melany Markham on +211 922 027 365 or melany_markham [at] wvi [dot] org