Coming months are "make or break" in South Sudan, says UN official

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A woman and her children in South Sudan. UN Photo/Isaac Billy

The next few months will be decisive for South Sudan, according to the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in the country who described the situation as "make or break".

On Sunday Tony Lanzer said pledges from a donor conference need to be turned into results with positive impacts for South Sudanese, who have been devastated by violence since December 2013.

Last week, the UN humanitarian agency (OCHA) reported that an additional US$614 million had been pledged for the country.

The UN has projected there could be up to 1.5 million internally displaced South Sudanese by the end of 2014.

This raises food security concerns particularly as the rainy season is beginning this month.

Mr Lanzer said it is important to see the government actively participating in the provision of assistance to its own people.

He gave a practical example of how South Sudanese can be helped.

A good and simple measure would be to help those people in Juba who are showing interest in going back to the neighbourhoods from which they fled in the middle of December. Help those people go back to their neighbourhood, in a tangible way. Give them some building materials, give them a ministry of health clinic, give them some mattresses, anything that they may need to help them rebuild their lives. (0'24")

Mr Lanzer added that countless lives can be saved, famine can be prevented, and the loss of another generation can be averted, as long as all parties work together.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’32″

 

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