Global perspective Human stories

World News in Brief: South Sudan tax impositions, Somalia flash floods, Ukraine attacks

Food aid is delivered by boat in Bor in South Sudan (file).
WFP/Gemma Snowdon
Food aid is delivered by boat in Bor in South Sudan (file).

World News in Brief: South Sudan tax impositions, Somalia flash floods, Ukraine attacks

Humanitarian Aid

The UN acknowledges assurances from the South Sudanese government that the recent imposition of taxes on fuel and supply trucks does not apply to the Organization. Still, concerns remain regarding humanitarian aid efforts in the region since some of the UN’s fuel and supply trucks are being held at many depots and the border. 

“Until they are released, we will not be able to conduct many of our activities in support of the communities in need across the country,” UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said on Tuesday.

He said that UN colleagues in South Sudan say fuel reserves are being depleted which leaves them in a critical situation that prevents the delivery of millions of dollars worth of aid amidst the country’s crisis.

Support from the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, UNMISS, has been reduced and the Head of the mission, Nicholas Haysom, says urgent action is needed to make certain that support in South Sudan doesn’t end.

Deadly flash floods in Somalia

Seasonal rains in Somalia which come between April and June – referred to as the “Gu” rains – have intensified, resulting in flash floods in Somaliland, Hirshabelle and South West States, and the Banadir region, over the past five days, according to reports from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).  

Four people have reportedly died. 

The UN and its humanitarian partners have increased response efforts by issuing early warning messages, positioning about 20 flood task force teams across Somalia and identifying about 70 evacuation sites in areas prone to flooding. 

The rains and floods may impact more than 770,000 and the downpour is expected to worsen the current outbreak of acute watery diarrhoea and cholera.  

Ukraine: Civilians injured in overnight attack in Odesa

OCHA says that aid workers in Ukraine reported an attack in Odesa on Monday night that injured civilians, including children, and damaged homes.

This attack comes just after strikes on civilian infrastructure in the Kharkiv Region on Monday that reportedly killed and injured civilians, and partially interrupted telecommunications after a TV tower was destroyed.

Families in Odesa have received emergency, psychological and legal assistance from humanitarian organizations – this aid supports the delivery of emergency medical services, and primary health care, including mental health assistance by Ukrainian authorities. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported nearly 100 attacks on health care in Ukraine in 2024.