United Nations hands over new facilities to promote human rights and enhance food security in Eastern Equatoria

Peace South Sudan UNMISS UN peacekeeping peacekeepers development elections Quick impact projects Humanitarian DSRSG human rights security eastern Equatoria

The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Humanitarian/Resident Coordinator, Anita Kiki Gbeho, attended the handover ceremony for new facilities aimed at promoting human rights and enhancing food security in Eastern Equatoria. Photos by Yakudu Moses/UNMISS.

21 Jun 2024

United Nations hands over new facilities to promote human rights and enhance food security in Eastern Equatoria

Moses Yakudu

EASTERN EQUATORIA - Across Eastern Equatoria, communities are continuing to suffer immense harm from intercommunal conflict and cattle raiding as well as a deteriorating economic and humanitarian situation.

In April, several people were killed, women and children abducted, and thousands of cattle were stolen by an armed group in the village of Kauto, in Kapoeta East County. This is the latest in a series of violent incidents and comes on top of already extreme hardship experienced by communities because of food insecurity and rampant inflation which is severely impacting their ability to support themselves.

“There is a persistent economic crisis and hunger as rains resumed very late last year, creating a poor harvest,” said Eastern Equatoria State Governor, Louis Lobong Lojore.

He was speaking during a high-level visit by the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Humanitarian/Resident Coordinator (DSRSG-HC-RC), Anita Kiki Gbeho, who handed over several development projects implemented by the United Nations family to the Eastern Equatorian State Government.

The first project is a newly constructed facility for the Human Rights Commission, including offices, a board room, store, and toilets supported by solar power for sustainability.

“The handover of this infrastructure signifies the kind of collaboration between UNMISS and the State Human Rights Commission to promote protection and respect for human rights across the region,” said Becky Ayaa Obong, Chairperson of the Eastern Equatoria State Human Rights Commission.

Accompanied by a team of development partners and national government officials on a mission to enhance rule of law, food security and development, the DSRSG-HC-RC also presided over the official handover of a seed storage facility and pesticide plant constructed by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

“South Sudan is in the midst of reviewing its progress against the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Ms. Gbeho. “What underpins these goals is human rights, which put individuals in a position to make decisions about their own lives. This infrastructure is important as a home for championing, monitoring, reporting and above all making recommendations about human rights.”

She expressed the UN’s commitment to continuing to support development and promote peace in the world’s youngest nation.  

“I joined the UN team working in support of South Sudan at a difficult time given the challenges, including a protracted humanitarian crisis, the spillover effect of the conflict in Sudan, the economic situation, and anticipated flooding,” she said. “It is not going to be easy at all, but I am happy to be here.”

Since 2012, UNMISS’ Eastern Equatorian field office has successfully completed and handed over at least 50 Quick Impact Projects, ranging from solar power, clean water facilities, health centers, schools, police posts and training centers, courts and parliamentary offices.

These projects are delivered as part of the mission’s mandate to protect civilians, support the safe delivery of humanitarian aid and enable the return of displaced families to their homes, monitoring, investigate and report on human rights violations and abuses, and support the implementations of the peace agreement at the regional and national levels.