(Geneva, 16 June 2015): Over US$275 million (245 million euro) were pledged today in support of the victims of the deepening humanitarian crisis in South Sudan and the region.
The pledges were made during a high-level conference in Geneva organised by the European Union and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on the humanitarian situation in the world’s youngest country.
"The pledges show that the world has not forgotten the people of South Sudan. We are committed to alleviating their suffering. I witnessed this unfolding disaster first-hand just a few weeks ago. I also saw the admirable work done by humanitarian workers," said EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides. "Our first priority is to save lives; but this is a man-made crisis which cannot be solved by humanitarian aid alone. A political solution is urgently needed. I call on those fighting to stop the plight imposed on their people and give full protection and access to humanitarian workers," he added.
At today’s event, the following pledges were announced: Australia $1.3 million; Austria $400,000; Belgium $4 million; EU commission $55 million; Germany $3.8 million; Ireland $3.3 million; Italy $6.4 million; Luxembourg $2.6 million; Norway $3.8 million; Slovenia $32,000; US $133.5 million; UK $61 million.
The humanitarian crisis in South Sudan has deteriorated relentlessly since violence broke out at the end of 2013. More than 2 million people have been internally displaced and are vulnerable to attack, gender-based violence and forced recruitment to armed groups. An estimated 4.6 million people are facing severe food insecurity and the start of the rainy season is increasing people’s risk of water-borne diseases and malaria.
"We must fund the aid effort adequately and enable humanitarian workers to provide basic services – food, water, shelter and healthcare – to people in the most difficult-to-reach locations", said UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien. "It is vital to send a message of solidarity and hope to South Sudan."
The conflict has triggered the flight of more than half a million refugees into neighbouring Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda. More than 17,000 children have crossed borders, being separated from their families.
“We now have more new South Sudanese refugees than when the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed after decades of civil war,” said United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres. “The neighbouring countries are severely impacted by this massive outflow, and humanitarian agencies lack the resources to address the enormous and growing needs. With a refugee population that is comprised of 70 percent children, there is an even more urgent need to step up funding and address the most basic requirements for their protection.”
EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides’ remarks: http://bit.ly/1JVve2F
UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien’s remarks: http://bit.ly/1cYwK73
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.