News / Africa

Médecins Sans Frontières Urges S. Sudan Aid

FILE - A sick displaced man lies asleep on a bed while a mother bathes her son and keeps an eye on her other child in the United Nations camp in Juba, South Sudan, Feb. 12, 2014.
FILE - A sick displaced man lies asleep on a bed while a mother bathes her son and keeps an eye on her other child in the United Nations camp in Juba, South Sudan, Feb. 12, 2014.
Lisa Schlein
The medical aid group Médecins Sans Frontières, or Doctors Without Borders is urging humanitarian agencies to speed up emergency assistance to South Sudan before the rainy season gets fully underway and roads become flooded and impassable.  

Doctors Without Borders Director GeneraL Bruno Jochum has returned from a visit to South Sudan.  He says aid agencies are racing against time to pre-position stocks of relief supplies before the rains come.  He worries they may be losing the race.  

He blames much of this problem on rigid bureaucracies in the United Nations, various governments and donors' organizations.  He says these systems are excessively slow in assessing needs and distributing funds, and that it takes most organizations three to five months to get the money they are promised.

Jochum says aid agencies need the money now, while they still have access to people in need.   

Fortunately, he says, there are no political obstacles to disbursing aid in South Sudan because government and opposition forces are giving aid groups free access to all areas.

But he says the security situation puts many areas out of reach.  

“You have probably close to one million people who are missing the planting season, who have left with their belongings and who will not be able to harvest in a few months from now.  So, they will be very dependent on not only food assistance, but, relief in general.  It is quite critical for both stocks, logistics and emergency programs to be put in place to respond to this challenge in a few months down the line," said Jochum.

Doctors Without Borders runs a large operation in South Sudan.  It has 340 international staff and 20 projects, eight of which have started since fighting broke out between the government and rebels in mid-December.

During his recent visit to South Sudan, Jochum says, he saw that several of his organization’s structures had been severely looted, or damaged or nearly destroyed.  In some cases, he says field teams had to be evacuated.

Despite these circumstances, Jochum says his organization is continuing to provide critical health services for thousands of victims of this war.

“Since early December, we have been taking in charge about 2,000 wounded in different locations and providing health care-whether hospital care or primary health care to both new displaced population, refugees going outside the country in Ethiopia and Northern Uganda, but also giving care to, as I said, victims of violence," he said.

Jochum says he is concerned by a growing suspicion by different parties toward the U.N. Mission in South Sudan.  He says most aid agencies are dependent on U.N. logistics to carry out their humanitarian duties.  He warns agencies may face risks in the coming months, if suspicion toward UNMISS continues to grow and it comes under attack.

You May Like

WHO: Anti-Ebola Efforts Should Focus on West Africa

Official says WHO is 'reasonably confident' countries bordering those hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak are not seeing the virus crossing their borders More

South Sudan Crisis Threatens Development

Economic costs and lost development opportunities in South Sudan have erased what little progress the country has made since independence in 2011 More

Ukrainian PM Warns: Russia May Try to Disrupt Sunday Poll

Arseniy Yatsenyuk orders full security mobilization for parliamentary election to prevent ‘terrorist acts’ from being carried out More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid