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Featherstone: New British aid package for South Sudan

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Britain announces £60 million to help those affected by one of the world's worst humanitarian crises

A new aid package for South Sudan will help hundreds of thousands of people caught in one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, Lynne Featherstone will say in Oslo today.

At a major pledging conference hosted by the Norwegian government, the UK International Development Minister will announce £60 million to help hundreds of thousands of people affected by the violence in the world’s newest country.

The new package of support includes £16.5 million to help the World Food Programme feed over 100,000 people and £5 million for the Red Cross to provide life-saving assistance and treat the war-wounded.

The Minister will also call on the South Sudan Government and Opposition to take immediate steps to increase the speed at which aid reaches the people who need it.

Lynne Featherstone, International Development Minister, will say:

The situation in South Sudan is deeply saddening. In just three years the hope that filled the country during independence has given way to violence and one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

We will not look the other way while innocent people go through unimaginable suffering. Britain is already leading the international response to this crisis and the extra support announced today will give hundreds of thousands of people the food, water and medicine they need to survive.

But, above all, responsibility for the well-being of the people of South Sudan sits with the leaders of South Sudan. The Government and Opposition need to take steps to speed up the delivery of aid. Clearance through customs for humanitarian goods should take a few days, not almost a month.

Since fighting broke out in South Sudan in December 2013 the situation has quickly escalated into one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. Over one million people have been forced from their homes, 10,000 women and girls are at risk of rape and there is evidence of child soldiers being recruited.

Because people have been forced to flee their homes they risk missing the yearly planting season. Without crops planted there can be no harvests later in the year and, with the harsh rainy season approaching, aid agencies have warned of the risk of famine.

The new funding brings the UK’s total support for South Sudan since the start of the crisis in December 2013 to around £93 million. The UK announced a package of £12.5 million in December and £8.3m for the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation in March. £13 million has also been allocated to help refugees in South Sudan and neighbouring countries.

Infographic: South Sudan crisis - UK aid since December 2013