Christine Beerli, Vice-President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), wraps up today a five-day visit to South Sudan. This week, Ms Beerli met with Vice-President James Wani Igga, as well as with high level Government representatives and with members of the international community in Juba. She also met affected communities in Jonglei and Upper Nile.“South Sudan remains one of ICRC’s top priorities in terms of humanitarian response. People have been significantly affected by displacement, hunger and insecurity. The ICRC reaffirms its commitment to continue providing humanitarian emergency assistance while reinforcing people’s resilience” said Beerli.
During her meetings with officials, Beerli underlined the importance of safe access to carry out humanitarian operations in the field. She also called for the respect of civilians. “To carry out our work, ICRC staff must continue to be granted unimpeded access to those in need. It is crucial that all parties involved in the conflict respect fundamental humanitarian principles”. Beerli was accompanied by a group of private donors from different sectors including financial, pharmaceutical, education and technology companies. Together, they visited ICRC activities including a water treatment plant in the capital, a food distribution in Toch and the hospital in Kodok, both in the Greater Upper Nile region.“The private sector plays an increasing role in supporting financially ICRC activities around the world. South Sudan is our biggest operation in Africa and the second largest worldwide, after Syria. That requires extensive resources that come partly from corporate donors, who also want to see what is the reality on the ground” said Jürg Eglin, head of ICRC in South Sudan.The ICRC, in cooperation with the South Sudan Red Cross, runs a wide range of activities in the country such as the provision of food, water, health care and protection for the most severely affected communities. The ICRC also promotes knowledge and respect of International Humanitarian Law.