Christian Aid has issued the following statement in response to deadly attacks on staff members from two South Sudanese NGOs, including a partner organisation:
"Last weekend a staff member of UNIDO, one of Christian Aid's partners in South Sudan, was shot and killed near Leer in Unity, where they had been working in a health facility.
"In a separate attack a staff member of Hope Restoration, an organisation close to Christian Aid, was killed in Bentiu, also in Unity.
"Christian Aid is deeply saddened by this news, and condemns in the strongest possible terms the killing of two aid workers who had dedicated themselves to serving the people of South Sudan.
"Local aid workers from national NGOs are at the frontline of providing humanitarian response in South Sudan and play a critical role in enabling aid to reach the hardest to reach areas.
"At least 98 aid workers have been killed since December 2013, most of whom are South Sudanese nationals.
"Christian Aid echoes the statement of the UN Humanitarian Coordinator released on April 10, in which Mr Alain Noudehou said: 'Aid workers risk their lives every day to provide life-saving assistance to people in need in South Sudan. I strongly condemn the targeting of aid workers, and demand that those responsible for these acts be brought to justice.'
"We share our deepest condolences with the families of the victims and with colleagues at UNIDO and Hope Restoration, and hold them firmly in our prayers."
Since December 2013, ongoing civil insecurity and violence in South Sudan has forced 4 million civilians to abandon their homes, and has left more than 5 million people in urgent need of food assistance.
Christian Aid’s local partners continue to provide humanitarian relief in some of the worst-affected areas of the country. To find out more, see here.
Notes to Editors
1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 40 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.
2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change explains how we set about this task.
3. Christian Aid is a member of ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development.
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5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid, visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk