International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Facing a ‘perfect storm’ in South Sudan

Between 2007 and 2010, Sir John Holmes – then UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs – visited Southern Sudan three times as it struggled toward independence amid problems of conflict, lack of capacity and food insecurity. Last week he returned to the world’s newest country with IRC-UK.  In a piece published today in the Huffington Post  he warns that South Sudan  faces a ‘perfect storm’ of unresolved issues with Sudan, tribal clashes, growing violence along its northern border, and a new food crisis. 

If the storm breaks, Holmes says, aid agencies will once again switch their programs away from development and back to emergency humanitarian relief.  "Economic self-reliance, women's empowerment and civil society strengthening being fostered by careful programs from IRC and other NGOs, as well as the UN, may have to return to the back burner."

Holmes is now director of the Ditchley Foundation and a member of the IRC-UK’s Board of Trustees.

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