Heavy Fighting in South Sudan Disrupts Mercy Corps Humanitarian Operations

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Mercy Corps staff are safe despite renewed heavy fighting in Bentiu

Mercy Corps' WASH program manager directs the water-truck driver on his delivery to households, camp hospitals and schools.

For Mercy Corps and other humanitarian agencies, this new wave of violence is another setback for our aid operations.

The global humanitarian agency Mercy Corps has temporarily curtailed its humanitarian operations in Bentiu, the capital of Unity State in South Sudan, as widespread fighting erupted this week. Mercy Corps staff have had to seek safety in United Nations bunkers to escape intense gunfire and shelling.

“For Mercy Corps and other humanitarian agencies, this new wave of violence is another setback for our aid operations,” says Mohammed Qazilbash, South Sudan country director for Mercy Corps. “We just started recovering from the rainy season. During those six months we struggled to deliver assistance as the heavy rains flooded camps, rendered airport landing strips unusable and roads impassable, and caused latrines to collapse.”

Mercy Corps is providing food and livelihood assistance benefiting more than 85,000 people in South Sudan, as well as water and sanitation services to more than 40,000. The agency also provides safe spaces for 7,500 children so that they can continue their education and feel a sense of normalcy despite the current crisis.

“As soon as it is safe, we will mobilize teams to check on the people we serve in Bentiu and resume our normal operations,” says Qazilbash. “In the meantime, we urge all parties to the conflict to come to a lasting, peace agreement.”

About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is a leading global humanitarian agency saving and improving lives in the world’s toughest places. http://www.mercycorps.org.

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Christine Bragale
Mercy Corps
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