FILE - Elizabeth Nyakoda holds her severely malnourished 10-month old daughter at the feeding center for children in Jiech, Ayod County, South Sudan, Dec. 10, 2017.
FILE - Elizabeth Nyakoda holds her severely malnourished 10-month old daughter at the feeding center for children in Jiech, Ayod County, South Sudan, Dec. 10, 2017.

South Sudan President Salva Kiir this week ordered the government’s Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RCC) to waive registration fees for local and international nongovernmental organizations (NGO) operating in South Sudan.

Deng Tong Kenjok, of the commission, issued a notice Thursday to nonprofit organizations in South Sudan.

VOA’s South Sudan In Focus obtained a copy of Kenjok’s letter addressed to NGOs, which said, “due to (the) humanitarian situation and huge burden of funding many humanitarian projects in the country (South Sudan), President Kiir issued directives waiving registration fees for all NGOs in South Sudan.”

FILE - U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki
FILE - U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks at UN headquarters in New York, Jan. 2, 2018.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley issued a statement Friday asking the Kiir administration to create a suitable environment for aid workers operating in South Sudan.

“This week, the government of South Sudan waived registration fees for nongovernmental to organizations. This action will save NGOs approximately $2,500 compared to last year,” she said.

NGOs and U.N. agencies are providing life-saving assistance to 3 million people each month in South Sudan, since violence erupted in the country in 2013.

“However, work permit fees — often ranging between $2,000 to $4,000 per international staff member — remain a much greater financial burden,” Haley’s statement said.

Haley said her office acknowledged efforts by the South Sudan government to waive registration fees, but insisted that fees, paperwork and bureaucracy should never get in the way of providing life-saving assistance.

Kenjok’s directive noted that “all NGOs shall be required to pay service and administration fees payable to RCC.”

“We encourage even greater rollbacks to administrative impediments so that the long-suffering South Sudanese people can get the help they need without delay,” Haley said.