As a follow-up to the 12 April ‘Call for Action’ in Washington, over 300 representatives from the Government of the Republic of South Sudan, representatives from the South Sudanese opposition (SPLMiO), donors, UN agencies, and national and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) gathered at a conference co-hosted by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
As this was a humanitarian pledging conference, the meeting did not dwell on broader questions of peace and security. There was however consensus that the parties must honour the 9 May agreement, engage seriously in the IGAD-led process to resolve the underlying political crisis and that true cessation of hostilities, peace, and reconciliation is the key to a safer and better future for the people of South Sudan.
Stakeholders discussed the financial and operational response to the humanitarian consequences of the crisis in South Sudan. Aid agencies sought a total of US$1.8 billion this year for South Sudan. As of 12 May, US$ 536 million had been mobilized for the South Sudan Crisis Response Plan. In Oslo, donors pledged more than $610 million in new funding for both South Sudan and the region.
Four working groups discussed the following: access, protection, funding, as well as the plight of South Sudanese who have sought refuge in neighboring countries. This document outlines the outcomes of the four working groups. It sets out key challenges and highlights the commitments sought to address impediments to the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
Session 1: How to create a better environment for the delivery of aid (access)
1 . Parties to the conflict should not deny freedom of movement for the people of South Sudan. Further, the parties and neighboring countries should respect and ensure freedom of movement for humanitarian staff, assets, and supplies by the most effective means possible (i.e. air, land or water) including cross-line and cross-border, to reach people in need, wherever they are.
2 . The parties should prevent acts, which threaten or harm humanitarian staff or operations, including the theft, looting, seizure, commandeering or impounding of humanitarian vehicles (including boats), premises, equipment or supplies, and hold those responsible for such acts accountable.
3 . The Humanitarian Coordinator should ensure the monitoring, collection, analysis, and reporting of access violations. This will be fed into a mechanism to ensure the parties are accountable to address and remove all access constraints. The welcome commitment at the political level must be translated into action on the ground. Failure to facilitate access shall be reported to the international community as a breach of commitments under the cessation of hostilities Oslo 22 May 2014 agreements.
4 . Aid agencies must be committed to scaling up operations with or through national partners when available. Humanitarian agencies should place experienced personnel in those locations where the urgent need is greatest.