U.N. Says ‘Thank You’ to South Sudan’s Kiir For Thinking About the Hungry

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The top United Nations relief official in South Sudan on Monday welcomed President Salva Kiir’s decree ordering free, unimpeded and unhindered movement of humanitarian organizations in the country.

Ensuring unhindered humanitarian access is essential to save thousands of lives who are in need of aid, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan Alain Noudehou said in a statement issued in Juba.

“South Sudan’s humanitarian partners appreciate the step that President Kiir has taken to ensure the free movement of supplies and personnel, particularly at a time when food insecurity continues to deteriorate and humanitarian organizations face pressure to expand their response,” Noudehou said.

According to the decree issued on Nov. 9, all roadblocks must be cleared immediately for international aid agencies.

The decree came amid complaints from international aid agencies who have had difficulties in reaching the most vulnerable populations in remote areas, worsening a humanitarian crisis, with some displaced people starving to death, especially in the Upper Nile and Equatoria regions.

Noudehou expressed hope that the order will have a positive impact in reducing the many constraints faced by humanitarian partners that delay or prevent the provision of urgently needed help and which too often place humanitarian staff at risk.

“We look forward to seeing the order implemented on the ground swiftly and we will continue to work with all concerned authorities to ensure a safe and secure operational environment that is conducive to the timely delivery of humanitarian assistance to people in need,” he said.