At least five United Nations (U.N.) aid workers were killed in South Sudan last year, bringing the total number of humanitarian worker deaths to 129 since 2013, the United Nations agency for humanitarian affairs said Tuesday.
The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said in its latest report that humanitarian organizations faced continued and widespread access challenges in 2021, with an increase in incidents reported to and verified from 580 in 2020 to 591 in 2021.
“The five aid workers killed in 2021 lost their lives while delivering life-saving assistance to people in Jonglei, Lakes, Unity and Eastern Equatoria,” the UNOCHA said.
It said the increase in incidents, albeit moderate, was triggered by active hostilities, sub-national violence, and violence against humanitarian workers and assets and severely hindered humanitarian operations and disrupted program delivery, and assistance to vulnerable people.
The report says incident severity increased substantially in 2021 given that 58 percent of reported incidents were significant in severity, compared to 44 percent in 2020.
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