Senior UN official voices concern about humanitarian access in South Sudan

UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- The UN humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan, Eugene Owusu, said on Wednesday that he was deeply concerned about "bureaucratic impediments and access constraints" that have negatively impacted aid in the country, a UN spokesman said here.

Some 91 humanitarian access incidents were recorded on Nov. 1-28 in the country, Farhan Haq, the deputy UN spokesman, said at a daily news briefing here.

Of these, 70 percent involved violence against humanitarian personnel or assets, Haq said.

"Aid workers were also denied access to areas outside of Yei town in Central Equatoria and Wau town in Western Bahr El Ghazal, where tens of thousands of people are in need of assistance and protection."

"Mr. Owusu stressed that it is vital that the commitments made in high-level fora to tackle these impediments fully translate into real, tangible and immediate improvements in the operating environment for aid workers on the frontlines of humanitarian action," Haq added.

Humanitarian needs in South Sudan continue to rise as a result of conflict and economic decline.

Nearly 3 million people have now been displaced since fighting first broke out in December 2013, including 1.9 million who are internally displaced and more than 1.1 million who have fled to neighbouring countries as refugees.

To date in 2016, humanitarian organizations in South Sudan have reached more than 4.1 million people with assistance and protection across the country, including in some of the most remote areas.

"I am tremendously proud of the aid workers across this country who are working tirelessly day-in and day-out to help people in need," said Owusu.

"I call on all parties to allow free, safe and unhindered humanitarian access so that our colleagues can reach and assist people whose lives have been torn apart by this crisis."

"Regardless of where they are in the country, civilians in need have a right to receive help," Owusu added.

[ Editor: meng ]


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