South Sudan ceasefire could mean access to children affected by conflict
JUBA, South Sudan, Jan. 23, 2014 /CNW/ - The ceasefire announced today in Addis Ababa between South Sudan's government and opposition could mean that aid agencies can finally access areas where children and families have been suffering due to the conflict.
The ceasefire is a first step to ensuring safety for children and families impacted by the conflict and safe passage for aid workers. However, several other actions need to be in place before agencies can send their teams to the most volatile areas. World Vision is working closely with other non-governmental organizations and the United Nations to continually assess the situation across the country.
"Until now, several parts of South Sudan were simply inaccessible," says Perry Mansfield, program director for World Vision South Sudan. "We know that there are children across the country who need humanitarian assistance. Many have been separated from their families, haven't had a meal in days, or are injured. They need our help whether it be in protection, food, or health services, but as long as violence continues to break out, we cannot get to them."
"In any conflict, and South Sudan is no exception, children are always the most vulnerable. World Vision is ready to move in to the areas where children have been most affected, as soon as it is deemed safe for us to do so. In light of this ceasefire, we hope it will be soon," Mansfield adds.
In South Sudan, World Vision:
- World Vision has been working in the South Sudan region since 1989 and was among the key 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 ten 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.
World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. Visit our News Centre at worldvision.ca
SOURCE World Vision Canada