UNICEF says it is growing more concerned about the safety of South Sudanese women and children as violence continues in the country and children are at high risk.
According to said Iyorlumun Uhaa of UNICEF South Sudan, roughly 194,000 civilians have been forced to flee their homes and most of those people are women and children. Mr. Uhaa says that because the situation is so fluid the real number of people who have fled is probably much higher.
He added that the most vulnerable in any conflict are always the children many of whom lack shelter from the intense heat of the sun and are forced to sleep out in the open during the cold nights.
There are two UN compounds in South Sudan with the compound in Juba sheltering an estimated 25,000 people and despite intense fighting posing difficulties in reaching civilians seeking in Bor, humanitarian aid is reaching the Juba compound
UNICEF and other agencies are delivering sanitation food and water supplies into various towns around the country. The agencies are building toilets as they seek to bring hygiene and reduce the risk of disease. Emergency health care is being provided at the compounds and UNICEF is providing high energy biscuits for children aged between six months to five years that give the children much need nutrients.
UNICEF and its partners are delivering clean water supplies to camps and setting up tents. The agencies are registering families who have fled and helping reunite parents who have become separated from their children.
“UNICEF and the United Nations are committed to protecting civilians in South Sudan, regardless of their ethnic group, but it is really the leaders of this, the world’s youngest nation, who have the responsibility to protect their citizens and particularly their children. We urge all of the country’s leaders to seek a peaceful resolution to the conflict and avoid further escalation.” Mr. Uhaa said.