Following the 12 April “Call for Action issued in Washington, D.C., over 300 representatives from South Sudan, donor governments, regional organisations, international and national NGOs and UN agencies gathered at a high-level conference co-chaired by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Stakeholders met in Oslo to take concrete steps to meet the urgent financial and operational needs of the humanitarian response to the South Sudan crisis.
Aid agencies sought a total of US$1.8 billion this year for South Sudan to save lives, prevent a famine and avert the loss of another generation of South Sudanese children. In Oslo, donors pledged more than $600 million in new funding for both South Sudan and the region to provide life-saving food and support to livelihood activities; prevent and treat malnutrition; provide emergency education, healthcare, clean water and sanitation; distribute shelter materials; protect civilians; and help survivors of violence – particularly children and women.
In addition to pledging, participants expressed alarm at the unfolding humanitarian situation, and reiterated that the fighting must stop and for both parties to engage seriously in the IGAD-led process to resolve the underlying political crisis. Participants also committed to taking concrete measures to scale-up humanitarian action, mobilise the resources required, ensure the protection of civilians and address the regional impact of the crisis. Participants agreed to establish a joint mechanism to monitor access constraints and ensure parties to the conflict are held to account. The Government of South Sudan was asked to make public its plans to burden-share in providing essential services. Parties to the conflict were reminded to take all possible measures to protect civilians, particularly women and children, and to safeguard medical facilities, schools and places of refuge. Neighbouring countries were thanked and asked to keep their borders open and to provide asylum and international protection to the growing number of South Sudanese refugees.
Since the outbreak of violence in December 2013, over 1.3 million South Sudanese have been forced from their homes and tens of thousands have been killed. Aid agencies estimate that if fighting continues, over one in two South Sudanese will be severely affected by year’s end, with more than 50,000 children likely to die if not promptly treated for malnutrition, over 863,000 people likely to flee to neighbouring countries such as Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan and Kenya, some 1.5 million people internally displaced, and 4 million people at risk of starvation.
Given all that is at stake and the dire consequences of inadequate action, the international community and humanitarian partners recommitted to working with all parties to the conflict and others to ensure that the people of South Sudan are spared further suffering and can survive this time of great need.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.