Thanks Skye of Human Rights Watch for the question. I'll put it to the panel in a few minutes.
It looks like we have reached the top of the hour in our various locations around the globe. Time to get started!
Welcome all. Thanks so much for joining us today.
A few figures to get us minds focused on the gravity of this crisis --
It is the worst since South Sudan’s independence, two and a half years ago with 494,000 displaced internally and 86,000 having crossed borders as refugees.
Thousands are estimated to have been killed. But government and rebel representatives meeting in Ethiopia have not yet signed a ceasefire agreement.
Let’s kick off with Challiss, who can give us some of the humanitarian context.
Challiss, the U.N. says that only just over 40 percent of the internally displaced have received any aid. Why are you having such a problem responding to this humanitarian crisis?
The ones in the UN camps are at least getting some aid - but I believe they are only about 14 percent of the estimated total IDPs aren't they? Others seem to be running from one town under siege to another.
Challiss, WFP is used to delivering food aid to parts of South Sudan that are in conflict, such as Jonglei State. What makes it worse than previous years?
Thanks Challiss. Yes, tough conditions in which to deliver aid.
Heather, what kinds of challenges is MSF facing in providing medical care during this conflict?
A question for all panelists: How much damage do you think the recent conflict has done to development gains since South Sudan became a new nation? How damaging could this be for donor confidence? Will they walk away from development projects?
Heather, do you think we need a ceasefire to improve humanitarian access?
Challiss and then Heather, can you please outline for us what the last five weeks of fighting mean in terms of people’s ability to eat and get health care. If the fighting were to end today, would there be a quick recovery? And what kind of problems will we see if we do not get a ceasefire soon?
Thanks Elias. A very good point. We will move on to talk about the international community's role very soon.
Great points Challiss and Heather. Many thanks. You and other contributors have given a good picture of the depth of the crisis.