Today, August 19, is World Humanitarian Day. Last year alone, 155 aid workers were killed, 134 were kidnapped and over 170 were seriously wounded. World Humanitarian Day commemorates the aid workers who have lost their lives helping others in need – and recognizes the commitment to the life-saving work humanitarians carry out around the world every day.
The Republic of South Sudan gained its independence from Sudan in July 2011 following a 2005 peace agreement that ended Africa’s longest-running civil war. South Sudan, the world’s 195th country and the 193rd member state of the United Nations, is also Africa’s first newly independent country since Eritrea split from Ethiopia in 1993.
2. As a former part of Sudan, South Sudan has experienced the adverse effects of conflict since 1956, with more than two decades of internal strife.
These conflicts displaced millions of South Sudanese and left the country with an underdeveloped infrastructure, a weak economy, contamination from landmines and other explosive remnants of war, and an abundance of unsecured small arms and light weapons (SA/LW). The violence that reignited in December 2013 forced more than 1.5 million people from their homes, increasing their vulnerability to cholera outbreaks, widespread famine, landmines, and other unexploded munitions.