SUDAN WATCH: More than 2,000 people killed in South Sudan since Jan 2009 -UN

Friday, August 14, 2009

More than 2,000 people killed in South Sudan since Jan 2009 -UN

A humanitarian emergency is brewing in South Sudan warns UN Deputy Coordinator for South Sudan, Lise Grande.

Ms Grande said five states in southern Sudan are at risk: Jonglei, Upper Nile, Western Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria and Northern Bahr El-Ghazal.

From United Nations Radio by Jocelyne Sambira, Thursday, 13 August 2009:
A humanitarian emergency is brewing in South Sudan warns UN Senior Official
UN Deputy Coordinator for South Sudan is warning that the country is in a critical phase due to severe food shortages and mass displacements caused by escalating inter-tribal conflicts.

"Since January of this year, more than two thousand people in Southern Sudan have been killed as a result of inter-tribal conflict and a quarter of a million people - two hundred and fifty thousand people have been displaced across the ten states."

Liz Grande told reporters in Khartoum on Wednesday that the situation is getting worse because of plummeting oil prices, forcing the Government of South Sudan (GOSS) to put a halt to much needed development plans.

"Probably no other government in the region has suffered as much from the global meltdown as Southern Sudan. It has lost a staggering 40% of the revenues that it expected."

The UN senior official estimates that 85 million dollars is the bare minimum needed to keep people alive in that region and much of the humanitarian funding has dried up.

The Secretary-General has warned that the recent inter-tribal fighting in South Sudan is destabilizing the entire country and putting at risk the progress made by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
Lise Grand

Photo: Deputy Coordinator for South Sudan, Lise Grande. (UN)

From Sudan Radio Service, Thursday, 13 August 2009:
UNMIS Describes A Critical Humanitarian Situation in South Sudan
(Khartoum) – Addressing a press conference in Khartoum on Wednesday on the humanitarian situation in southern Sudan, UNMIS Deputy Resident and Humanitarian Co-coordinator for southern Sudan, Lise Grande, said rural populations that depend on agriculture for survival have been going hungry since the first of June.

[Lise Grande-English]: “Here is the bad news. The hunger gap for large part of the whole population in five critical states is going to be extended not to mid-August, but all the way through to mid October there us going to be a lot of hungry people in Southern Sudan, that hunger gap will go from early June right away through to mid-October, now, in terms of food assistance that will be required again, work is still being done right now by the World Food Programme and we can give you an indication that, remembering that ninety-six metric tonnes were already required, out of that WFP has only received eighty- thousand metric tonnes , so there is a gap of sixteen thousand metric tonnes right now. Then you add on top of that the food that is going to be required because the first harvest has failed and we are looking at the significant increase of assistance that is going to be needed. Of all the states in the south that have been hit hard, Jonglei may be the worst. We already know that the largest failure, the biggest failure in harvest is going to be precisely in that state”.

Grande said the UN agencies and humanitarian organizations in southern Sudan have asked for 412 million USD.

She said out of the requested amount what has been received is less than 60 million USD, adding that in order to save the lives of many people who are in need of food in southern Sudan, 85 million US dollars are urgently needed.

[Lise Grande]: “What is the red line? The red line is 85 million USD. You want to keep people alive in the south, 85 million USD, that is it, that is the bottom-line. More than ninety-percent of the entire population exists on less than one dollar a day. One out of every seven women that becomes pregnant is going to die. Of all of the deadly diseases in the world, there are thirteen of fourteen of them in southern Sudan. But for me there are two sets of statistics that sum up the situation in southern Sudan: the maternal mortality rate is the highest in the world, more women die during pregnancy than any place on the globe. Things are really, really, really tough in the south. Four years after the signing of the CPA, southern Sudan is facing an unimaginable set of problems. I know that a lot of attention that is given to Darfur. This is deserved, but the key point is that the south deserves much more than it is receiving, particularly now that the Comprehensive Peace Agreement is entering its critical stage”.

Grande said that throughout southern Sudan almost the entire population is facing a life-threatening situation.

[Lise Grande]: “Southern Sudan is facing crisis right now. It is caused by a combination of factors. Number one, the rain has been late, number two, the high level of insecurity and displacement that I have just described, number three there has been disruption of trade and number four, related to that has been a sharp increase in the price of food. We add all that together and we have a big food deficit. The WFP originally estimated for 2009 that 1.2 million people in southern Sudan are going to require some kind of food assistance and they appealed for ninety-six metric tonnes to do their part. We have started receiving data from hard-hit locations like Aweil in Bahr El-Ghazal. Data has indicated that the malnutrition rate was exceptional. In Aweil, the severe malnutrition rates are twice the emergency threshold."

Grande added that another factor that contributed to hunger in southern Sudan is the budget crisis. Southern Sudan has suffered a lot due to the recent drop in oil prices. The Government of southern Sudan has lost forty percent of the this year's expected revenue.

She said five states in southern Sudan are at risk: Jonglei, Upper Nile, Western Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria and Northern Bahr El-Ghazal.
Click on labels 'humanitarian disaster' and 'Jonglei' (here below) to see related reports and updates.

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