UN humanitarian affairs chief Valerie Amos called on the international community to continue its support for conflict-torn South Sudan, where 2.5 million people are in urgent need of food aid.
Amos, who spoke in Juba after a three-day visit to South Sudan, said that humanitarian organizations are aiming to reach 4.1 million people this year, which will cost 1.8 billion dollars.
"There is a woman, a child, a man behind every statistic, and the numbers are large," she said. "Thousands of children are suffering from malnutrition. The threat of hunger and disease is real." Ivan Simonovic, UN assistant secretary general for human rights, who briefed reporters in New York after his trip to the country, said that while impunity is rampant, there is a growing movement among the South Sudanese to ensure justice.
"There is an increasing thirst for peace and justice among a broad spectrum of civil society," Simonovic said.
"There is a more broad acknowledgment of the need to break the cycle of impunity with a number of concrete measures taken to address accountability." Simonovic said that South Sudan needs to strengthen its judicial system, which currently has 100 to 200 judges for the entire country.
About 70 per cent of the police force is illiterate, he noted.
It is unclear how many people have died in South Sudan's recent civil conflict; Simonovic said the number is in the "thousands, likely tens of thousands." The number of people displaced by the conflict has reached 2 million, with 500,000 people having fled to neighbouring countries.