Escalating violence in South Sudan has impacted delivery of current International Medical Corps lifesaving services in conflict areas, along with those of many other humanitarian organizations.
International Medical Corps staff members in the capital Juba are presently assessing humanitarian needs, including new displacement created by the intensifying conflict, and are preparing a response plan to address those needs. Despite the increase in violence and lower staffing levels, International Medical Corps is continuing to deliver lifesaving services – maternal health, HIV/AIDS, nutrition, food security, and water and sanitation – at a reduced level in five states. International Medical Corps has decades of experience implementing medical programs in conflict-affected environments, and as such has developed a contextually specific set of protocols to ensure the safety of International Medical Corps staff while responding to ongoing and emerging needs.
With great sadness, International Medical Corps confirms the death of a member of its staff, killed during the escalating violence in South Sudan. The staff member, a clinical health officer, was killed when a UN base in the town of Akobo, where he was seeking refuge, was overrun. The UN estimates that at least 20 civilians were killed in the attack, and two UN peacekeepers were also among those killed.
According to the UN, an estimated 800,000 people have been affected by the recent conflict. Since December 15, approximately 201,000 people have been displaced by conflict in South Sudan, with 62,000 of them seeking refuge in UN compounds. The violence is affecting 7 of the country’s 10 states, including Central Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria, Jonglei, Lakes, Unity, Upper Nile, and Warrap.
International Medical Corps has been delivering humanitarian assistance in southern Sudan since 1994 and supporting communities across South Sudan since independence in 2011. International Medical Corps shares the concerns of many in the humanitarian community that the ongoing and escalating conflict will have a devastating impact on civilians in South Sudan and hopes for a swift cessation of violence so that it can continue to provide relief to those who need it most.