South Sudanese Face Lack Of Health Care, Food Insecurity, Sexual Violence

News outlets report on the humanitarian situation in South Sudan, where violence is impeding access to health care and threatening famine. In addition, a U.N. envoy warns about the damage to future generations from sexual violence.

The Lancet: Fighting restricts access to health care in South Sudan
“…The fighting that has raged in South Sudan for more than nine months has left at least 10,000 people dead, displaced 1.8 million more, and devastated much of the country’s health system. Now, across vast swathes of South Sudan’s eastern half, the only viable health care options are at a handful of U.N. bases. That affords easy access for the nearly 100,000 people who are sheltering at the bases to escape the fighting. But for the hundreds of thousands of people who were driven from their homes deep into the bush, accessing health care — or any form of aid — is either extremely dangerous or impossible. Humanitarian groups have warned that many of those communities are now facing emergency levels of food insecurity and malnutrition…” (Green, 10/4).

Reuters: Famine threatens South Sudan if conflict deepens: report
“Famine could strike another million people across South Sudan early next year if the civil war escalates, a report said on Monday. … Tariq Riebl, head of Oxfam in South Sudan, said although humanitarian aid was vital, a political resolution was urgent…” (Guilbert, 10/6).

U.N. News Centre: U.N. envoy on sexual violence warns rapes in South Sudan will ‘haunt’ generations
“The horrors of sexual violence in South Sudan did not end with the ceasefire agreement, a senior United Nations official [Monday] said calling on citizens of the world’s youngest country to stand together and say ‘enough is enough.’ Speaking at a press conference on her first visit to the country, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on sexual violence in conflict, Zainab Bangura, said that armed men — civilians and soldiers from all parties to the conflict — are responsible, and some carry on the acts…” (10/6).

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