The European Commission increases assistance by further €20 million to help vulnerable people in South Sudan

BRUSSELS, 26-9-2014 — /EuropaWire/ — The European Commission is responding to the continuing major crisis in South Sudan by increasing its life-saving assistance by a further €20 million to help its most vulnerable people.

“A human catastrophe of alarming proportions is happening in South Sudan,” said Kristalina Georgieva, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response. “The country faces the worst food security crisis in the world with more than half its population – seven million people – stalked by hunger. 50 000 children are in danger of dying if emergency aid does not reach them now. With this funding we will address the basic humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable, but without peace the toll of human suffering will only continue to grow. Aid operations will remain inadequate as long as the conflict continues. It is the responsibility of the political leadership of South Sudan to end the unnecessary suffering of its people.”

The humanitarian situation is drastically worsening due to unpredictable floods as well as outbreaks of cholera and other diseases (including malaria, kala-azar and hepatitis). With the crops planting season lost as a result of the fighting and the rainy season underway, more than half of the country is now inaccessible by land.

The immediate life-saving assistance focuses on distributing essential food and materials to avoid a further deterioration in the food security situation of the country. The new funds address the basic needs of more than a million internally displaced people, including shelter, water, hygiene and protection, especially for children and women.

The new funding brings the Commission’s humanitarian aid in South Sudan to more than €120 million for this year, including assistance to South Sudanese refugees in neighbouring countries. Humanitarian funding for the crisis from the European Union – its Member States and the European Commission – stands at over €245 million.

It will be channelled through the European Commission’s humanitarian partners, which include UN agencies and NGOs. Our aid is delivered in extremely challenging circumstances. Attacks against humanitarian workers and general insecurity seriously constrain access to those in need.

A team of humanitarian experts of the Commission is on the ground monitoring the situation, assessing needs and overseeing the use of EU funds.

Background

The humanitarian situation in South Sudan has been critical ever since armed violence broke out in the capital of Juba on 15 December 2013 and subsequently spread to several states in South Sudan. More than 1.3 million people have been internally displaced and more than 450 000 have sought refuge in neighbouring countries. In addition, South Sudan hosts more than 243 000 refugees from neighbouring countries (mainly Sudan). The main humanitarian needs are for food, clean water, health-care, shelter, sanitation, hygiene and protection.

The UN has declared South Sudan a “Level Three” crisis, the highest category for a humanitarian crisis. The country ranks second in the European Commission’s Global Vulnerability and Crisis Assessment index (after the Central African Republic) and is the world’s youngest and most fragile state.

For more information

The European Commission’s humanitarian aid and civil protection:

http://ec.europa.eu/echo/index_en.htm

Commissioner Georgieva’s website:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/georgieva/index_en.htm

Contacts :

David Sharrock (+32 2 296 89 09)

Irina Novakova (+32 2 295 75 17)

For the public: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 or by e-mail

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