In a statement released today, several representatives of UN agencies and humanitarian non-governmental organizations in Afghanistan have stressed that we are in a race against time to deliver life-saving aid to crisis-affected people and preposition supplies ahead of winter.
In September, the UN and partners provided food assistance to more than 3.8 million people in Afghanistan; treatment for acute malnutrition to 21,000 children aged 6 months to 59 months and 10,000 women; health-care services to 450,000 people; livelihood support to 160,000 farmers and herders; and water to 186,000 drought-affected people.
The humanitarian community in Afghanistan is committed to delivering unconditional aid to millions of people. To do that, pledges and commitments by donors must urgently be turned into reality. UN Member States are requested to allow the swift and unfettered movement of humanitarian supplies and personnel into and out of Afghanistan, and to provide humanitarian financial exemptions to allow funds to reach aid organizations in the country.
The Flash Appeal that was launched last month for Afghanistan is only 35 per cent funded.
Meanwhile in December 2013, following a political struggle between Kiir and Machar that led to Machar’s removal as vice president, violence erupted between presidential guard soldiers from the two largest ethnic groups in South Sudan.
Soldiers from the Dinka ethnic group aligned with Kiir and those from the Nuer ethnic group supported Machar. In the midst of chaos, Kiir announced that Machar had attempted a coup and violence spread quickly to Jonglei, Upper Nile, and Unity states.
From the outbreak of conflict, armed groups targeted civilians along ethnic lines, committed rape and sexual violence, destroyed property and looted villages, and recruited children into their ranks.
About 400,000 people were estimated to have been killed in the war by April 2018, including notable atrocities such as the 2014 Bentiu massacre. Although both men had supporters from across South Sudan’s ethnic divides, subsequent fighting had ethnic undertones.
In South Sudan, the Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim in South Sudan, Matthew Hollingworth, has strongly condemned the latest threat against humanitarian organizations in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area and called for authorities and communities to ensure the safety and security of humanitarian personnel.
On Monday, 4 October, a letter reportedly from a youth group in Pibor was issued, demanding that at least 30 humanitarian personnel leave the area within 72 hours. The youth group accused humanitarian personnel from other parts of the country of occupying positions that they say belong to the local community.
Yesterday, 5 October, more than 80 humanitarian personnel were relocated from the Greater Pibor Administrative Area. Humanitarian activities have been suspended for 48 hours, except for critical activities that must continue to save lives, and will only resume when it is deemed safe to do so.
This latest incident of youth interference will impact response operations to more than 100,000 of the most vulnerable people in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area.
Mr. Hollingworth, OCHA and the NGO Forum are liaising with the relevant authorities in Pibor and Juba to gain a better understanding of the situation and seek a joint resolution.
Since the start of the year, humanitarians have been threatened and attacked by youth in Renk in Upper Nile and Torit in Eastern Equatoria, among other places. These attacks have led to the suspension of humanitarian activities and the relocation of workers.
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