Violence in Pibor and the looting of humanitarian supplies have a huge impact on children: it must stop immediately
Statement by UNICEF South Sudan Representative Hamida Lasseko
Juba, South Sudan, 21 May 2021 – “I strongly condemn the violence happening in Pibor county and the looting of the humanitarian supplies of UNICEF, as they have a dramatic impact on the children we serve.
“South Sudan is going through one of its worst humanitarian crises. The humanitarian actors have scaled-up their interventions to assist children and population in need, including in Pibor county which has the most severe levels of malnutrition in children. The looting and destruction of humanitarian supplies and services are unacceptable.
“Provisional reports confirm that since violence started on 7 May in Pibor county more than 2,000 cartons of Ready-to-Use-Therapeutic-Food have been looted, enough to treat 2,000 children with severe acute malnutrition. Almost half of nutrition centers treating children with malnutrition have temporarily stopped operating. This has a direct and immediate effect on the survival of children.
“The only safe water system in Gumuruk was destroyed, leaving over 15,000 people without clean water and at risk of disease.
“Violence has led to the destruction and closure of the only facility in Gumuruk supporting prevention and response to Gender Based Violence for women and adolescent girls.
“Also, in Gumuruk two schools with education material were burnt down, and due to the violence, schools in all the four payams in Pibor county were temporarily closed.
“Violence and destruction and looting of humanitarian supplies and services have a huge impact on the rights of children to survival, thriving and development. This must stop immediately.
“UNICEF and partners remain committed to continue to support children in need of humanitarian assistance. We will ensure access to services for children and their communities are restored.”
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work in South Sudan visit: www.unicef.org/southsudan