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South Sudan has been one of the most dangerous places for aid workers since 2013, with 319 violent incidents reported last year targeting humanitarian personnel and assets.
On Thursday, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) decried attacks on aid workers in South Sudan, noting that such incidents may negatively impact the delivery of life-saving food supplies to those in need.
The OCHA Coordinator in South Sudan Sara Beysolow Nyanti called for a joint action to address the humanitarian crisis and an immediate end to attacks against civilians and humanitarian workers.
"I would like to highlight and honor the humanitarians, especially women, who work tirelessly on the frontlines in the most difficult environment, trying to reach thousands of crisis-affected people," Nyanti said ahead of the World Humanitarian Day to be marked on Friday.
She also noted that the majority of humanitarian workers who have been killed in South Sudan are nationals who sacrificed their lives to provide assistance to the most vulnerable people in hard-to-reach areas.
At least 8.9 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in the east African country in 2022, noting that aid agencies are targeting 6.8 million people affected by climatic shocks, drought, subnational violence, COVID-19, and others.
"It takes a village to raise a child. In the same way, it takes an array of partners to support crisis-affected people. We need urgent collective efforts to help the vulnerable population in South Sudan," Nyanti said.
South Sudan has been one of the most dangerous places for aid workers since 2013, with 319 violent incidents reported last year targeting humanitarian personnel and assets. People across the country, especially women and girls, face many protection risks including conflict-related and gender-based sexual violence, armed violence, crimes, abductions, and destruction of properties.
"Impunity is a perpetuating factor and a driver of conflict and insecurity. There is an urgent need to bring perpetrators to justice. We need strengthened joint action, multidimensional dialogue, and engagement to address this," Nyanti, adding that all armed factions must immediately cease targeting civilians, humanitarian personnel and their assets.