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World Vision calls on South Sudan leaders to put children first

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Lauren Fisher

International News Manager
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

JUBA, South Sudan (January 13, 2014) — World Vision, one of the largest aid agencies working in South Sudan, is calling on all parties to listen to the cries of the afflicted children and seek a negotiated solution to the nearly month-long conflict in the country.

“Children are arriving to places of sanctuary unaccompanied. They are tired, hungry and afraid. Many of them are in grave danger of contracting malaria as a result of spending nights in the bush. And they are vulnerable to other diseases — depending on the living conditions where they run to and the lack of medical services,” said Perry Mansfield, the director of World Vision’s programs in South Sudan.

“We are appealing to the South Sudan Government and opposition to cease hostilities immediately and listen to the children, who are now in desperate need of help,” Mansfield said.

World Vision, working alongside other aid agencies, has trained nearly 3,000 displaced people in Malakal town, Upper Nile on how to improve sanitation and hygiene to avoid diseases. The organization helped them to set up water and sanitation committees to ensure standards of cleanliness within the compound are maintained. In addition, World Vision is distributing relief supplies, including plastic sheeting for emergency shelter and hygiene kits donated by USAID, to displaced communities in Upper Nile and Unity states of South Sudan.

Aid agencies, including World Vision, have had some of their offices and warehouses in the affected areas vandalized. World Vision would like to remind all parties to the conflict of their responsibility to protect civilians and ensure humanitarian access as well as abide by international humanitarian law to protect children and other civilians from attack in the conflict affected areas.

World Vision is also responding to the humanitarian needs of South Sudanese who have fled their country into neighboring Uganda and Kenya.

“We need immediate access to the needy population across the country to save lives. Despite the deteriorating security in South Sudan, we continue to work toward recovery and development in areas where the security situation allows. We are closely monitoring the security situation, as we respond to immediate needs in the conflict affected states,” Mansfield said.

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Note to Editors:
World Vision has been working in the South Sudan region since 1989. World Vision was among the few aid agencies that provided emergency assistance during war to the displaced populations in the then Southern Sudan region of Sudan, which became the Republic of South Sudan after independence in the year 2011. World Vision embarked on implementing recovery and development activities to stabilize the region, after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

Spread across seven of the 10 states of South Sudan, World Vision programs include Health and Nutrition, Food Security and Economic Development, Water and Sanitation, Education, Peace Building and Protection, Food Assistance and Emergency Response. World Vision is still operating ongoing programming in Western Equatoria, Warrap and Northern Bahr el Ghazal States and also scaling up operations in conflict affected areas. World Vision will continue to monitor the security and humanitarian situation in the country and respond to the immediate needs of the conflict affected population within its operation areas.

About World Vision:
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to 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/press or follow on Twitter @WorldVisionNews.