Juba — The humanitarian community in South Sudan has launched an appeal for $1.72 billion to forestall the growing crisis in the war-torn country.
Alain Noude'hou, the humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan, said the cash would provide critical assistance to more than six million people affected by the conflict, displacement, hunger and a deteriorating economy.
Mr Noude'hou made the appeal at the launch of South Sudan's humanitarian response plan of action for 2018 in Juba Wednesday.
"There is a growing need for humanitarian assistance with displacement, food insecurity, malnutrition, violence and economic decline taking a toll on health, safety and livelihoods of people in need," he said.
The South Sudan conflict has forced about 4 million people to flee their homes, including nearly 1.9 million internally displaced people and about 2.1 million who have fled to neighbouring countries.
The humanitarian coordinator further said the continuous conflict in some parts of the country was accelerating the rates of hunger and malnutrition.
He called for a collective effort and commitment from donors and other stakeholders in alleviating the suffering of the people.
"With our collective and coordinated efforts, we will be able to effectively provide much needed assistance to the people.
"Children will remain in school. Many more will survive diseases," he said.
According to the South Sudan Integrated Security Phase Classification (IPC), an earlier than normal start of the lean season would result in an estimated 5.1 million (48 per cent of the total population) being classified as severely food insecure between January and March in 2018.
Nutrition surveys recently released by aid agencies also cited that approximately half of all South Sudanese children under five experienced acute malnutrition.
HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSE
Meanwhile, President Salva Kiir's administration has apologised for gross human rights violations committed against civilians by some state officials and institutions during the four years of fighting between government forces and rebels.
The president's legal affairs adviser, Lawrence Korbandy, noted that some individuals in the Kiir administration had failed to respect the law, and were hence responsible for the prevalence of human rights abuses in the country.
He made the remarks while marking the International Human Rights Day in Juba on Monday.
The former human rights commissioner cautioned senior government officials and institutions to exercise maximum respect of the law, adding that the struggle for the independence was for freedom and human rights.
"Reminding ourselves where we came from, our struggle was for human rights, if we derailed from that; we would like to apologise to our people," he said.
Human rights agencies have in the past documented several gross violations in South Sudan, with some of the reports holding the government accountable.
Amnesty International in August accused the government-backed militia group known as Mathiang Anyoor for pillage in Equatoria region during the last year's violence.