“The priority is to save lives now and ensure that we have food, medicine and other lifesaving supplies prepositioned in the field, in easy reach of aid agencies before the rains hit and roads become impassable,” said Lanzer.
According to the humanitarian chief, aid agencies have revised the South Sudan Crisis Response Plan to reflect the deterioration of the humanitarian situation to prioritise frontline relief, prepositioning and to take necessary actions now to prevent food security deteriorating later in the year.
Since the political crisis broke out between forces loyal to the president Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar mid-December 2013, aid agencies say the humanitarian needs have been worsened as almost 900,000 people have been displaced, thousands more killed, wounded and property looted and also damaged.
Livelihoods have been lost and people’s ability to move their livestock for pasture, to fish or to hunt has been severely compromised.
Nevertheless, key aid agencies stayed to protect civilians and deliver aid. They are now scaling up the response to assist 3.2m people up to June based on previous rigorous prioritization.
The humanitarian situation is expected to worsen further when the rainy season starts as most remote areas would be cut off by roads.
The aid agencies fear the number of displaced may increase unless the warring parties adhere to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CoH) signed on 23 January 2014 in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
The Agreement at least allows aid workers to reach the displaced people in need of relief assistance.