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Humanitarian responses should address vulnerable needs

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June 20, 2014 (BOR) – A top United Nations official, who visited Jonglei’s state capital, Bor Friday expressed concerns over the worsening humanitarian conditions among the displaced people living in camps.

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Panos Moumtzis, a senior UN humanitarian advisor speaks to reporters in Bor, June 20, 2014 (ST)

Panos Moumtzis, a senior UN humanitarian advisor, led a team of eight people to Jonglei, one of the three states badly-hit by the mid-December 2013 violence.

The visit, he said, was to encourage humanitarian agencies to reach conflict-affected communities in largely insecure areas of Akobo, Nyirol and Uror.

“We want to make sure that the humanitarian response meets the needs of the people on the ground, and we are looking into how better (we can) improve our humanitarian response”, said Panos.

He stated that humanitarian involvement in crisis management, through provision of humanitarian aid, would not solve the ongoing suffering of people in Jonglei and South Sudan in general.

“I clearly think humanitarian assistance is not an answer to the current crisis although we do our best to provide assistance”, said Panos.

During the team’s visit, however, concerns were expressed about the presence of the Nuer displaced people in the UN compounds in Bor. Poor health conditions, lack of shelter and food were identified as some of the issues people facing the population in the civilian protection site in Bor.

Nearly 6,000 individuals, mainly from the Nuer ethnic tribe, sought protection at Bor UN compound after violence broke out in the state on late December 2013.

On 17 April, about 60 people were killed at the UN premises when armed youth stormed the protection site demanding relocation of the displaced civilians, according to Jonglei state officials.

The state information minister, Jodi Jonglei, said the government would cooperate with humanitarian agencies to better the lives of the conflict-affected people and that peace was the only solution.

(ST).

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