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UN endorses S. Sudan’s order on humanitarian access

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah with agency report

The United Nations has backed South Sudan President, Salva Kiir’s directed that none of the representative of humanitarian organisations in the country must be prevented from moving around the country.

According to UN, the president’s directive that humanitarian organisations should not be denied access to any community would save thousands of lives who are in need of aid in the country.

It would be recalled that the government issued the decree recently, ordering that all roadblocks must be cleared immediately for international aid agencies.

The decree came amid complaints from international aid agencies who have had difficulties in reaching the most vulnerable populations in remote areas, worsening a humanitarian crisis, with some displaced people starving to death, especially in the Upper Nile and Equatoria regions.

UN Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan, Alain Noudehou, who commended the president in a statement issued in Juba, said that the action would ease movement of humanitarian aids in the country.

“South Sudan’s humanitarian partners appreciate the step that President Kiir has taken to ensure the free movement of supplies and personnel, particularly at a time when food insecurity continues to deteriorate and humanitarian organizations face pressure to expand their response,” Noudehou said.

The coordinator expressed hope that the order will have a positive impact in reducing the many constraints faced by humanitarian partners that delay or prevent the provision of urgently needed help and which too often place humanitarian staff at risk.

“We look forward to seeing the order implemented on the ground swiftly and we will continue to work with all concerned authorities to ensure a safe and secure operational environment that is conducive to the timely delivery of humanitarian assistance to people in need,” he said.

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