Revision of the Crisis Response Plan for South Sudan 2014 (June 2014)
A steadfast commitment in the face of crisis
Six terrible months have passed since fighting broke out in Juba in December 2013, and quickly spread across much of the country. Six months of fear and suffering for the people of South Sudan. Six months of sadness and frustration for all those who care about this young state’s future.
The conflict has been brutal. People have been killed, raped and beaten; homes torched; livelihoods demolished. Fighting has wrenched apart communities that once lived together peacefully. Men, women and children have fled from their homes and sought refuge in the bush, inside UN bases, and in neighbouring countries.
With many communities unable to farm or tend properly to their cattle, the risk of famine looms large. In some particularly hard-to-reach areas of the country, people are already starving. There are ways to turn this tide of suffering. The cessation of hostilities signed in Addis Ababa suggests that a peaceful solution to the conflict is within reach, if there is enough political will. All those with influence over this process must now take their responsibility to ensure that fighting ends. Encouragingly, the month of May was the least violent since the start of the crisis, allowing aid agencies to get seeds and tools to some communities, which may now get a harvest. Barge movements have started on the Nile, taking aid to food-insecure communities and displaced people. Support from the Governments of Ethiopia and Sudan in collaboration with the Government of South Sudan will allow relief supplies to reach more people.
These combined efforts have never been more needed. Even if the violence were to stop, great damage has already been done. In response, the aid operation is scaling up, and has already reached 1.9 million people.
The immediate goals of the aid operation are to save lives and prevent a famine. But we also have our sights set on the future. By vaccinating children, keeping schools open, and helping people cope with trauma, we strive to avert the loss of a generation of children and youth to this conflict, and help the country recover once fighting stops.
Since December, I have listened to many people whose lives have been shattered by the crisis. They keep telling me two things. First, they want peace. Second – until peace comes and they can resume their lives – they need help to survive.
The humanitarian community’s commitment to deliver on this second request is steadfast and resolute. We have set clear priorities among the overwhelming needs; we have a strategy that works; and we are able to implement it. With the continued generosity and solidarity of donors around the world, we can help prevent more unnecessary death and despair. Every dollar counts and makes a difference to people's lives.
Resident Humanitarian Coordinator