Juba, March 27, 2016. “The brutal killing of six aid workers over the weekend has sent shockwaves through us all; revealing yet another unacceptable violation of International Humanitarian Law in this country”, says Fred McCray, CARE’s Country Director in South Sudan. Under International Humanitarian Law, intentional attacks against humanitarian staff may constitute a war crime. “We call on all parties to the conflict to stop targeted attacks against civilians and aid workers and to allow us to get aid to those in need without having to risk our own lives to do so.”
In February, South Sudan declared famine in parts of Unity State where 100,000 people face starvation. In total, almost five million people are severely food insecure and do not know how they are going to feed their families. “Aid organizations need to significantly ramp up our work to get food and relief supplies to those experiencing extreme hunger. But we need to do it in a safe environment where the neutrality and independence of humanitarian workers operating in South Sudan is fully respected”, McCray urges.
Since the beginning of the conflict in 2013, almost 80 aid workers have been killed in South Sudan, making it one of the most dangerous places to deliver humanitarian aid. “I want to express my deepest sympathy and condolences to the family and friends of the six aid workers who were killed on Saturday. They gave their lives helping people in dire need. It is unacceptable that those trying to alleviate the suffering of hundreds of thousands are attacked for what they do”, says McCray.
CARE is implementing emergency response programs in Unity, Eastern Equatoria, Jonglei and Upper Nile Regions. These activities include the distribution of food assistance and relief supplies; nutrition and health support; and interventions to prevent gender-based violence reaching more than 350,000 people.
Find out more about our work in South Sudan here.