Scare For Insecurity And Hunger As South Sudanese Battle With Corona Pandemic.
South Sudan is facing a triple threat of hunger, violence and COVID-19. Despite the formation of the transitional government that has seen the cessation of hostilities, pockets of communal violence continue to uproot communities. Hunger, displacement and severe food insecurity still persist. Though less than a hundred cases have been confirmed so far, COVID-19 is already exacerbating the humanitarian situation. More than half of South Sudan’s population faces unprecedented levels of food insecurity, according to a recent FAO UN reports and many livelihoods of continue to be wrecked by poverty.
Lack of access to humanitarian assistance due to COVID-19 has further complicated the response as aid workers can’t travel between states since borders are closed. As a result, this makes procurement, supply and distribution of essential food and relief items hard which puts people in dire need of relief into a crisis of immense proportions. This situation has also come at a time when the country is embroiled in endless spats of conflict between different ethnic groups. Criminal violence is also on the rise due to failure to integrate rebel fighters and irregular forces into the national unity army.
Despite recent positive developments on the political front, the country still faces the threat of COVID-19 and escalating violence that can no longer be described as intercommunal. According to the Secretary-General’s recent report on the situation in South Sudan (document S/2020/536), the pandemic is poised to severely to hit the already fragile health system.
On the other hand, the peacekeepers and humanitarian workers still face the challenge of balancing the critical work of helping people in need of assistance while keeping staff safe from COVID-19. As South Sudan battles a public health emergency of such magnitude, political and military situations remain rife with little progress to find an everlasting political settlement.