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SOUTH SUDAN RISKS Losing more humanitarian support

By Morris Dogga

The outgoing Japanese Ambassador to South Sudan, Kiya Masahiko has warned that the country may lose more international support if the current fighting continues.

In an exclusive interview with Juba Monitor on Thursday in Mingkaman, Masahiko said if the current fighting continues it may interrupt the operations of humanitarian workers, more international donors may walk away.

Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) last week said that 101 humanitarian access incidents were reported in August alone. Out of the incidents reported, 52 involved violence against humanitarian personnel and assets, which are the most frequently reported in 2017. The total number of aid workers killed between January and August 2017 stands at 17 currently.

“There is a big issue of humanitarian access and the security, safety of the aid workers and the treatment of the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) which many donors have serious concerns about,” he said. “Of course if these challenges continue then I think it is getting more difficult for donors including Japan to increase or even retain the current level of funding,” he said.

Masahiko reiterated that still in some parts of the country especially where the opposition groups are militarily active; it is difficult for humanitarian organizations to access without the permission of the government. “That access issue if it is not addressed, then I think big donors will shy away from coming over to South Sudan,” Masahiko said.

“There are so many countries where access is easier than here; and they (donors) may divert their resources to other countries. So that issue of the accessibility needs to be addressed right away,” he added.

He said visible concrete actions need to be taken so that donors would feel confident that all the parties to the conflict are cooperating with delivering of humanitarian assistance to the needy.

“So I am hoping that the mechanism provided by the government-humanitarian high level oversight committee and humanitarian coordination forum, will address the very serious eminent challenges of humanitarian access,” he said.

The Ambassador calls on the authorities to cooperate with the international community so that the country can become self-reliant as soon as possible.

He also urges the leadership of the country in every level of the government to make proper use of the available resources in an accountable manner so that other donors are encouraged.

“If you waste money, others would not come over; if you make best use of any money, then others would be encouraged and come over to South Sudan to support more,” Masahiko said.

 

 

 

 

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