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Source: Radio Dabanga

UN Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, on Wednesday briefed the UN Security Council (UNSC) on the humanitarian situation in Sudan and South Sudan.

In a statement to the press after the briefing, she said that she had called on the UNSC to take immediate action, given “the dire situation in South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and Darfur, and the unfolding humanitarian disaster in South Sudan”.

She pointed to the “hundreds of thousands of innocent people in South Kordofan and Blue Nile who continue to be affected by war”, and noted that “no progress has been made in ensuring that they have access to even the most basic humanitarian assistance”.

“Under the leadership of the Humanitarian Coordinator, humanitarian workers in Sudan have continued to appeal to the parties to allow basic assistance to be provided to people who most need it.” Amos noted the failure to vaccinate children against polio in areas of South Kordofan and Blue Nile controlled by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North.

“Humanitarian premises, including hospitals, have been bombed. Attacks on medical facilities, whether deliberate or indiscriminate, are clearly unacceptable and in direct contravention of resolution 2046 and international humanitarian law. I noted my deep concern that intensified bombing and fighting during the planting season -May, June and July- is likely to have an impact on the harvest and families’ ability to feed themselves.”

Amos referred to the recently released forecast of the Famine Early Warning Systems Network that emergency levels of food insecurity are likely to persist among the displaced and host communities in SPLM-N controlled areas of South Kordofan between now and September.  “I warned the Council that if aerial bombardment continues to disrupt agricultural activities, we can expect the impact to extend well beyond the harvest in September,” she said.

“Food security assessments in May and June this year indicate acute food and livelihoods crisis or an emergency situation in ten counties in Jonglei, Unity, and Upper Nile States in South Sudan. A warning of possible famine over the months of July and August was also given.”

 “The conflict in South Sudan has effectively blocked off traditional areas of refuge across the border. It has also disrupted the cross-border movement of goods and services coming into South Kordofan and Blue Nile. And it has compounded the suffering of more than 200,000 Sudanese refugees in Upper Nile and Unity States.”

“I appealed to the Council to take action to ensure immediate and unhindered access for the United Nations and our humanitarian partners, as called for under Resolution 2046.”

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