Africa

800,000 risk losing life-saving services in South Sudan

Global aid agency says it requires over $700,000 every month to keep providing healthcare to vulnerable people

04.05.2021
800,000 risk losing life-saving services in South Sudan

ANKARA

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Tuesday warned that over 800,000 people relying on it in South Sudan “may face reduced access to life-saving services by June if urgent calls for humanitarian funding are not met."

In a new call for funding its essential health service in South Sudan for the vulnerable, the IOM said it faces a deficit that would hinder it to provide healthcare services, including “the screening of children under the age of five to detect malnutrition, and testing and treatment for HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis."

“Internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees, and conflict-affected populations already living in dire situations may soon face even greater danger to their lives and health due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the onset of the rainy season and floods,” it said in a statement.

“In the past year, we have learned the hard way that when some people don’t have access to health services, everyone can be at risk,” said Jacqueline Weekers, the IOM's director of migration health.

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, South Sudan’s health system was already overwhelmed and heavily dependent on humanitarian actors who now face funding shortfalls.

The IOM said it requires $744,175 per month in order to keep providing life-saving healthcare to the vulnerable people in South Sudan.

South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan in 2011, has been hit by years of conflict. Tensions began when President Salva Kiir sacked his deputy Riek Machar in 2013. A civil war broke out with many people joining the fighting.

A peace deal was signed on Sept. 12, 2018, and a unity government formed in February 2020. However, some opposition groups refused to cease fire, and are continuing with the fighting.

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