Around 7.5 million people, or 60 per cent of South Sudanese are in urgent need of aid – 1.4 million more than a year ago. The number of people displaced by conflict has surpassed four million, including two million who have fled the country. And then there is a cholera outbreak – South Sudan’s worst ever.
operation into southern Sudan run through Kenya, Ethiopia, and Uganda in the 1990s, as a potential alternative model of aid delivery. A similar approach now would mean bypassing Juba in the flow of aid and money to the needy.
But OLS had a logistical imperative and was founded on a negotiated agreement between Khartoum, the then-rebel SPLA, and the aid community. Circumstances are different now.
The government in South Sudan jealously guards its sovereignty, and already accuses the UN system of siding with the rebels.
“I don’t see any real appetite for cutting or shifting humanitarian aid,” said a regional analyst who asked not to be named due to their work with a Western donor.
The fear is that there could be retaliation by the government if conditionalities over access were introduced.
“The difficulty with conditionality is that it’s got to work on the basis that the people on the other side of the table care,” said the Western diplomat.