JUBA, South Sudan (May 11, 2015) — Escalating conflict has forced multiple aid agencies, including World Vision, to relocate staff and suspend programs in South Sudan’s Unity State. The aid agency was forced to stop its life-saving interventions, including nutrition programs for children and distribution of blankets, sleeping mats, hygiene products, shelter materials, and mosquito nets, because of ongoing violence in the region. As a result, the organization estimates that more than 10,000 children under five face malnutrition and nearly 300,000 throughout Unity State are left in need of aid.
“It is hugely distressing to us that we have had to halt these programs,” said Samar Abboud, World Vision’s acting national director in South Sudan. “Thousands of children now face the unthinkable — dying from hunger. We want to continue our work here, but with the increased insecurity and violence in Unity State, we cannot continue to put the lives of our staff on the line.”
Abboud added, “South Sudan needs peace. Families need peace so they can rebuild their lives again, and aid agencies need peace so we can access remote communities in need of these urgent supplies.”
World Vision is the United Nations’ primary partner for the distribution of shelter materials and other emergency relief supplies to displaced people in this region. The organization’s nutrition programs target children under five. In other conflict-affected areas in South Sudan where this program has been implemented, World Vision has reduced levels of severe acute malnutrition to less than one percent.
1.5 million people have been displaced throughout South Sudan since the conflict began in 2013, including more than 800,000 children. Over the past 16 months, World Vision has served over 600,000 people with emergency relief, including providing food, water and sanitation services, relief supplies such as mosquito nets, soap, and blankets and more.
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About World Vision:
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization conducting relief, development, and advocacy activities in its work with children, families, and their communities in nearly 100 countries to help them reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit www.WorldVision.org/media-center/ or on Twitter @WorldVisionUSA.
- Escalating conflict has forced multiple aid agencies, including World Vision, to relocate staff and suspend programs in South Sudan’s Unity State.
- World Vision is very distressed to be forced to terminate programs that are sustaining and saving the lives of refugees in the area.
- More than half of the 1.5 million people displaced since the conflict began in 2013 are children.