In the press release, OCHA warned that humanitarian situation in South Sudan is “catastrophic”: more than half of the population – some 6.1 million people – are in need of humanitarian assistance and an estimated 4.8 million people are severely food insecure.
A quarter of a million children are facing severe acute malnutrition.
Furthermore, some 1.6 million people are internally displaced and, throughout nearly two years of instability, more than 900,000 overall have fled to neighbouring countries, including more than 60,000 who fled to Uganda in July alone.
The UN humanitarian wing added that, so far this year, aid workers have reached more than 2.8 million people with assistance and protection.
It also noted that the Humanitarian Response Plan for 2016, which includes funding needs for 114 humanitarian partners to respond to the most urgent needs of the affected population, is only 40 per cent funded, leaving a gap of $765 million.
“More funding is urgently required for the scale-up of the response across the country,” the agency said in the release.
Violence against humanitarian actors hampering aid operations
In addition, relief operations in the country have been severely affected by violence against aid workers and aid assets, as evidenced by the looting of vital humanitarian warehouses during and after the fighting in capital Juba.
Since December 2013, at least 57 aid workers have been killed in South Sudan, including one worker who was killed during the recent conflict in Juba. Many more are still missing.
Commending the work of the aid workers in difficult situations, Mr. O’Brien said: “I categorically condemn all attacks against aid workers and assets and call on all those in leadership positions to step up and take action against these wholly unacceptable incidents.”