South Sudan - situation update
An outbreak of violence in July 2016 in South Sudan, including in the capital Juba, has led to the displacement of a further 70,000 people.
This current violence threatens a fragile ceasefire signed in August 2015 between government and opposition forces.
With an estimated 4.8 million people already suffering from severe food insecurity, an escalation of conflict is likely to result in more people in need and it will make it harder for aid agencies to reach them.
It’s been estimated that child malnutrition in South Sudan jumped by 40 percent in first six months of 2016.
World Vision has launched a rapid response to assist an estimated 36,000 people displaced by this latest violence.
“We are to deliver food and nutrition aid, water and sanitation services, and provide urgently needed shelter to individuals trying to stay dry during this rainy season,” said World Vision Australia CEO Tim Costello.
“We will also be setting up child protection centres and activities to help children who we know will be emotionally distressed by what they have witnessed and experienced over the past few days.”
South Sudan crisis explained
South Sudan became an independent country on 9 July 2011, after its population voted in a January referendum to separate from its northern neighbour, Sudan.
Violence broke out in December 2013 between the government and opposition forces and fighting has continued sporadically since then despite multiple peace agreements.
Reports suggest thousands have been killed and injured, but even more disturbing are suggestions that civilians, and particularly children, are being targeted. There have been killings, harassment and the destruction of property.
The conflict is taking a devastating toll on children, who are being killed, injured and witnessing brutal attacks on their families and communities. More than 2.5 million people have fled their homes to seek refuge from violence. More than half of them are children. If the conflict intensifies further, there will be even more displacement, increasing the risk of children becoming separated from family members and vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.