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UN seeks to scale up aid operations with new hub in South Sudan

Xinhua English


JUBA, June 11 (Xinhua) -- The UN migration agency on Friday handed over a newly constructed humanitarian hub to Plan International, a global charity, which will be responsible for the management of the hub.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said the establishment of the Pibor Humanitarian Hub in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA) will enable the expansion of aid operations across hard-to-reach areas of the GPAA through an increase in static humanitarian presence.

The IOM said the hub will provide safe, secure and reliable accommodation and office space for aid workers of both national and international organizations.

"We need humanitarian teams to be as close as possible to the people they serve, and this is exactly what the humanitarian hub offers," said Peter Van der Auweraert, IOM's Chief of Mission in South Sudan, said in a statement issued in Juba.

Auweraert said the humanitarian hub will help improve sustainability and the capacity of aid organizations to respond effectively and efficiently to natural disasters and other events that require humanitarian assistance.

According to the IOM, efforts to scale up support toward existing capacities for area-based response are crucially important in the face of challenges posed by unprecedented heavy flooding which can make road networks impassable, cutting off humanitarian aid.

It said protracted conflict across parts of the GPAA has triggered multiple displacements and collapse of livelihoods, also making the need for time-critical and life-saving frontline activities ever more important.

"The humanitarian hub will help to ease the pressure on humanitarian organizations and play an important role to ensure more predictable humanitarian presence, building the confidence of people in the community," said Steve O'Malley, head of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) South Sudan.

The Pibor Humanitarian Hub, funded by the South Sudan Humanitarian Fund, is part of a network of humanitarian hubs that IOM is setting up in remote areas of South Sudan where humanitarian needs are high. Enditem