Kiir says he’s pained by the suffering of his people

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir is feeling the pain and suffering of the country’s citizens who have been affected by severe food insecurity, floods and the COVID-19 pandemic, according to his recent remarks on New Year’s Eve.

“My heart goes out to those who have lost their loved ones to COVID-19 as well as those who are living in hardships as a result of the flood. While overcome by sadness, we should all be encouraged by how you, ordinary people, have maintained social harmony during this crisis,” says President Salva Kiir Mayardit in his New Year’s message.

Kiir noted that the past year has been one of the most difficult years ever, exacerbated by the global COVID-19 pandemic and the prevalence of acute food insecurity, as reported by humanitarian agencies.

“As I mentioned in my Christmas message, 2020 has been a difficult year. We were affected by COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to take human lives and exacted economic toll both in our country and across the globe. Our situation has also been worsened by floods, which have deströyed livelihood of thousands of people in our country.”

After more than six years of conflict, South Sudan remains one of the most food-insecure countries in the world.

10 states of the Republic of South Sudan | Photo: USAID/FFP

According a report issued recently by aid agencies, an estimated 6 million people—representing approximately 51 percent of South Sudan’s total population of 11.7 million—may face Crisis (IPC 3) or worse levels of acute food insecurity and require urgent food assistance between February and April this year.