Urgent aid mobilized for families displaced by South Sudan fighting

JUBA and TORONTO, July 14, 2016 /CNW/ - UNICEF and partners are providing urgent life-saving assistance to thousands of people displaced by last weekend's heavy fighting in Juba.

Four trucks of supplies were dispatched from UNICEF warehouses and taken to a UN displacement site in Juba as soon as movement became possible in the city earlier yesterday. High-energy food bars were also distributed in two churches where families have gathered. 

"The people hit hardest by this fighting are struggling to cope in appalling conditions," said Mahimbo Mdoe, UNICEF's Representative in South Sudan. "They are desperate for water, food and in need of medical assistance."

The relief items dispatched yesterday included supplies for the treatment of malnutrition as well as sanitation items such as water containers and soap. Primary health care kits as well as recreational items for children will be distributed today. 

Teams from UNICEF and partners are also working to assess the extent of humanitarian needs and have begun family tracing for children who became separated from their parents as families fled the fighting. Plans are in place to assist up to 50,000 people affected by the conflict.

"We are responding and that response will continue to grow, but it is vital that we are able to reach everyone in need and for that we must have unrestricted humanitarian access," said Mdoe.

About UNICEF

UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.

UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries - more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca.

SOURCE UNICEF Canada

Image with caption: "UNICEF Canada (CNW Group/UNICEF Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160714_C6696_PHOTO_EN_734576.jpg

For further information: To arrange interviews or for more information please contact: Stefanie Carmichael, UNICEF Canada, 416-482-6552 ext. 8866; 647-500-4230 (mobile), scarmichael@unicef.ca

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