UN / HUMANITARIAN SOUTH SUDAN SOMALIA

18-Apr-2017 00:02:54
The UN humanitarian operations director called on the international community to better fund the response to the famine in South Sudan already affecting 100,000 people as a million more were “on the brink.” UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / HUMANITARIAN SOUTH SUDAN SOMALIA
TRT: 02:54
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 18 APRIL 2017, NEW YORK CITY
SHOTLIST
FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UNHQ exterior

18 APRIL 2017, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, press room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) John Ging, Director of Operations, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“First and foremost, our humanitarian colleagues must be respected. They are prepared to take the risks. Too many of them are losing their lives in that, but we have to see a bigger, a much bigger, effort in terms of the duty of care that everybody has to the lives of those who are out there with no agenda other than saving lives.”
4. Med shot, journalists
5. SOUNDBITE (English) John Ging, Director of Operations, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“Most definitely we see a gap between the statements of government, the commitments made publicly by the President and others, and the actions on the ground. And we had a very frank discussion a number of the Ministers, chaired by the Cabinet Minister, where again there was no dispute about the fact that access on the ground is very problematic.”
6. Med shot, journalist
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Ugochi Daniels, Chief of the Humanitarian and Fragile Contexts Branch, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA):
“The type of sexual violence that is happening is actually expanding. So whereas before it was focused on girls, younger women, we are now actually seeing much younger girls being raped as well as much older women. And this is a trend that wasn’t there before. So it’s particularly alarming, the level of sexual violence that is happening and the type of violence that is happening.”
8. Med shot, journalist
9. SOUNDBITE (English) John Ging, Director of Operations, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“We are trying to obviously mobilize the international community in the same way as they have mobilized for Somalia to urgently react to the declaration of famine because famine has already been declared in South Sudan. And the fact that a million people; it’s affecting at the moment 100,000, the fact that a million people are on the brink should also spur us into the same urgent action.”
10. Wide shot, press room
11. SOUNDBITE (English) John Ging, Director of Operations, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“The coping mechanisms have very much been exhausted, and what we are seeing in terms of just the levels and state of malnutrition really alarm us. And of course as the situation continues, as time passes, it is definitely a race against time. And when we look at what should be the next round of rains, the likelihood that that is not going to happen will make it even worse.”
12. Wide shot, press room
STORYLINE
The UN humanitarian operations director called on the international community to better fund the response to the famine in South Sudan already affecting 100,000 people as a million more were “on the brink.”

Speaking to reporters today (18 Apr) in New York following a visit with humanitarian officials to South Sudan and Somalia, John Ging said South Sudan was one of the most dangerous places for humanitarian workers. He said since 2013, 82 aid workers had been killed including nine just in the past month. Ging said humanitarian workers “must be respected” as they had “no agenda other than saving lives.”

Ging stressed that access to areas in need of assistance was increasingly difficult making the crisis not only one of food security but also one of protection. He noted that there was a gap between “the commitments made publicly by the President and others and the actions on the ground.”

Ugochi Daniels of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) said the crisis in the country continued to deteriorate each year and sexual violence has been a symbol of the conflict. She said the type of sexual violence occurring was expanding, “whereas before it was focused on girls, younger women, we are now actually seeing much younger girls being raped as well as much older women.”

Ging said seven million people were in need of assistance in South Sudan with 3.6 million displaced both internally and as refugees in neighbouring countries. He noted that, unlike in Somalia, only 27 percent of the humanitarian appeal was funded leaving operations there vulnerable.

On Somalia, OCHA’s Director of operations said the crisis was moving fast as the coping mechanisms to deal with the drought “have very much been exhausted.” He said 6.2 million people were in need of assistance with 25,000 case of cholera being reported and 571,000 people displaced due to drought. He said despite an escalation in the need, the response was currently keeping pace with those needs. He added that 70 percent of the USD $825 million appeal was funded, but responding to the crisis was “definitely a race against time.” Despite coping mechanisms being put in place following the famine of 2011, Ging said Somalia had experience two consecutive droughts “and when we look at what should be the next round of rains, the likelihood that that is not going to happen will make it even worse.”
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