Media Contact:Lauren Fisher
WASHINGTON, DC (13 December 2011) — On December 14 and 15, delegates from all over the world will gather in Washington, D.C. to celebrate the future of a new nation and look ahead to plans for development. During the South Sudan International Engagement Conference, World Vision staff hope leaders remember the most vulnerable in South Sudan. Even before this fledgling nation celebrates its first birthday, its population faces considerable humanitarian needs and development challenges that will likely last for years to come. While some areas of South Sudan are stabilizing and show significant progress, the humanitarian needs will not go away without long-term assistance.
In South Sudan alone:
Conflict and insecurity continue to make it difficult for humanitarian agencies to help those in need. More than 80 percent of World Vision's operations in South Sudan are in the northern part of the country and will be increasingly disrupted if the violence escalates.
“It’s imperative that people remember this is still an extremely fragile situation, with people displaced and critical humanitarian needs,” said Nathaniel Hurd, World Vision's policy advisor for disasters and conflicts. "It is vital that all parties in this conflict ensure that agencies such as World Vision are allowed access to the most vulnerable communities, and that civilians are protected."
World Vision is pre-positioning essential supplies such as medicines, blankets, mosquito nets, soap, and utensils for communities that are likely to be affected by the situation. The organization has also partnered with more than 35 other relief groups to produce the joint briefing paper “Getting it Right from the Start” (PDF) earlier this year detailing the aid response so far, while also identifying key areas for improvement. Meanwhile, inadequate funding on all fronts has also hampered the response.
“South Sudan represents a combination of both enormous potential and significant challenges,” said Edwin Asante, World Vision's national director in South Sudan. “It’s essential that disputes on both sides are resolved peacefully in a swift, just, and lasting manner and the affected populations receive the help they need to turn the new nation of South Sudan into a thriving country for all of its citizens.”
Interviews with our staff in Washington, D.C. and on the ground in the region are available upon request. Please contact Lauren Fisher (+1.206.310.5476).
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About World Vision:
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve the world's poor — regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information on their efforts, visit WorldVision.org/press or follow them on Twitter at @WorldVisionNews