(Thessherald)— As the next deadline for the formation of the South Sudan Unity government approaches, the International Rescue Committee calls on all parties to resolve differences and focus on addressing the immediate and long term needs of its people. South Sudan has been at conflict for more than six years. More than two million South Sudanese have fled the country and another two million are displaced from their homes or living in camps.
The country is still recovering from massive flooding and now faces oncoming locust swarms which will devastate crops, food and any hope of earning an income. With more than 5 million people at risk of starvation, it is urgent that all parties immediately focus on the recovery of its country and its people.
Susan Purdin, Acting South Sudan Country Director, said, “We are seeing too many malnourished children in our clinics, parents who are unable to feed their families, children without access to education, young people without jobs, women scared to leave their homes afraid of the violence they face, and barely any law and order and justice for perpetrators. The South Sudanese people deserve to live in a country where they can safely leave their homes, grow crops, start businesses and provide education for their children. All parties in South Sudan must come together and end this selfish disregard for the people it is meant to serve.
“With a strong, stable government, South Sudan can and will see peace and prosperity. The children of South Sudan, the future generation, will stop dying of starvation and preventable diseases, receive the education they deserve and drive the country to a solid economic future.
“We recognize recent efforts made to resolve differences and push the peace process forward. This is not the time to take our eye off the ball. The international community must intensify efforts to push parties to a final resolution. Only then will the South Sudanese people have a chance at the country they deserve.
“The world has forgotten South Sudan. With the formation of the Unity government, faith in the country will be restored. The US, UK and Europe must use this as an opportunity to increase funding to aid agencies and invest in the South Sudan economy. Now is the time to build a better future for the people of South Sudan. ”
The IRC has more than 400 staff in South Sudan responding to the increasingly dire food insecurity crisis through our support for health, nutrition, reproduction health and women’s protection and empowerment, child protection, as well as livelihoods. The IRC is one of the largest providers of aid in South Sudan serving more than 900,000 people.