Women and Girls at Risk as South Sudan Violence Continues, warns CARE

by CARE International | CARE International Secretariat
Friday, 17 January 2014 10:03 GMT

The normally busy maternal health care unit at the clinic in Panyagor has seen few patients in recent days area residents shelter from possible violence. Here health care worker Rebecca Achol reviews charts with clerk Peter Maibor in a recent photo. Photo: Dan Alder/CARE

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CARE calls for humanitarian access so that displaced people have food, water, shelter and health care

JUBA, South Sudan (Jan. 16, 2014)—As the armed conflict in South Sudan enters its second month, CARE calls for an end to the violence and continues to support life-saving work in dozens of the country’s clinics. CARE is especially concerned about the effect of the violence on women and girls.

“Hundreds of thousands of people have fled their homes, seeking refuge from gunfire and more,” says Aimee Ansari, country director for CARE South Sudan. “Among the displaced, women and girls are particularly at risk. When they lose the protection of their homes and families, they become very vulnerable.”

CARE supports more than 50 health clinics in South Sudan. Many of these have been able to remain operational during the violence, in some cases treating the wounded. CARE is working to restock medicines and other supplies in the clinics despite access restrictions.
Health staffers say they have witnessed a drop in the number of pregnant women coming to the clinics for safe deliveries.

“We’re concerned that women may be giving birth in unsafe settings, and may not be able to access other health care that they need,” says Ansari. “Even before this crisis, South Sudan was always a harsh environment for women and girls. The current situation is also putting them at even greater risk of rape and other forms of gender-based violence.”

While most of the clinics CARE supports remain open, CARE’s other programs--focusing on water, sanitation, livelihoods, and peacebuilding--have been suspended. CARE is calling for humanitarian access so that displaced people have food, water, shelter and health care. “The people of South Sudan have suffered enough,” says Ansari. “We ask all parties to end the violence and ensure that civilians are protected.”

About CARE
CARE has been operating in Southern Sudan since 1993, initially providing humanitarian relief to internally displaced people in Western Equatoria. The signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005 allowed CARE to expand into Jonglei and Upper Nile States to support returnees from the refugee camps.

Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE has more than six decades of experience delivering emergency aid during times of crisis. Our emergency responses focus on the needs of the most vulnerable populations, particularly girls and women. Last year CARE worked in 84 countries and reached more than 83 million people around the world.

Media contacts:
Adel Sarkozi, CARE International | Geneva: +41 793 580 713
Laura Sheahen, CARE USA | Atlanta: +1 404 667 8299