When providing life-saving services to the people of South Sudan, too many humanitarian workers have no alternatives but to risk their own life.
One of those risks is COVID-19, to which health providers are particularly exposed. The EU Trust Fund for Africa (2M €), ECHO (2M €) and WFP (500,000 €) have brought into South Sudan 65 tons of personal protective equipment for frontline workers.
The EU Delegation & ECHO office in South Sudan coordinated their support to ensure that the humanitarian workers will be better protected from the virus and better equipped to fulfil their life-saving mission.
No effort should be spared to protect the humanitarian workers not only from the virus, but also from violence.
Protecting humanitarian workers is primarily a responsibility of the Government, but many development partners can and should contribute.
In South Sudan, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, it was expected that at least 6.5 million people –more than half of the population – would face acute food insecurity in 2020, and that all the population would be extremely vulnerable to risks and shocks.
Today COVID-19 and the floods have increased the needs and are overstretching the capacities of the humanitarian workers in an already complex situation. In these challenging circumstances, humanitarian workers are often the sole lifeline for the people of South Sudan.