News / Africa

IRC: Be Generous to South Sudan

In this photo taken Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, a displaced South Sudanese woman carries a plastic jerry can with water in the United Nations camp that has become home to thousands of displaced people in Malakal, South Sudan. (AP Photo/Ilya Gridneff)
In this photo taken Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, a displaced South Sudanese woman carries a plastic jerry can with water in the United Nations camp that has become home to thousands of displaced people in Malakal, South Sudan. (AP Photo/Ilya Gridneff)


  • Listen to De Capua report on the IRC and South Sudan crisis

Joe DeCapua
Representatives from donor countries begin meeting in Oslo Tuesday to decide how much aid to give to South Sudan. The meeting follows more than five months of conflict in the country. The International Rescue is calling on donors to be generous to help relieve rising malnutrition, especially among children.
Listen to De Capua report on the IRC and South Sudan crisis
Listen to De Capua report on the IRC and South Sudan crisisi
|| 0:00:00

IRC’s Ciaran Donnelly said a lot of money is needed for South Sudan, and it’s needed now.
“The United Nations [is] calling for $1.8 billion of funding to be allocated to this crisis. That’s $1.26 billion on top of $500 million plus that’s already been allocated. That seems like a lot of money. But in terms of the needs that we’re facing in South Sudan -- both the urgent humanitarian needs right now, as well as the investments needed to prevent a famine over the coming nine months or so -- that really is bare bones, nuts and bolts programming.”
Donnelly -- the NGO’s vice-president for program quality -- said humanitarian conditions in South Sudan have grown worse.
“We’re seeing a situation that has continued to deteriorate since the outbreak of fighting last December. We’re at a situation right now where we have 1.3 million displaced – 300,000 plus of those people are outside the country. And we have up to a million people displaced within the country living in really appalling conditions – some of them concentrated on U.N. bases. Many of them have fled to neighboring counties,” he said.
It’s only going to get more difficult to deliver aid.
Donnelley said, “We’re entering the rainy season and seeing a really worrying, concerning situation as far as food security goes, where we’re seeing acute malnutrition rates spiking in hard to reach areas. We’re struggling to get food and supplies into many of those areas – not just the IRC, but the humanitarian community as a whole. And we’re really very concerned about what the next several months hold.”
The IRC conducted surveys last month in Aweil South and Panyijiar counties and found malnutrition rates among young children of around 30 percent. It said those levels are double what the World Health Organization considers critical.
Donnelley added that children are being recruited as soldiers and women and girls are being sexually assaulted by both sides.
“One of the key messages for the donor conference here in Oslo over the next couple of days is that urgent action is needed to avert the loss of another generation of South Sudanese children,” he said.
The International Rescue Committee has worked in South Sudan for several decades. Among other things, it provides emergency health services, counsels survivors of sexual violence, supports programs for children and provides assistance to refugees and the internally displaced.
The IRC is encouraged by the recent agreement establishing a month of tranquility in the country. But said success in providing assistance depends on gaining access to all parts of South Sudan.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs