More EU aid for South Sudan as humanitarian situation worsens

The European Commission has released an aid package of €15 million amid an increasingly deteriorating humanitarian situation in South Sudan. The funding brings the total EU humanitarian aid for the country to nearly €300 million so far in 2015.

“The EU stands with the people of South Sudan, who continue to suffer from a dire humanitarian situation. Despite serious restrictions on humanitarian access, the EU has been relentlessly assisting those in need. It is essential that humanitarian workers have full access to reach all areas to deliver lifesaving aid to South Sudanese people,” said EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides.

Despite the recently signed peace agreement, to which the EU is an observer, the humanitarian crisis remains extremely worrying. South Sudan is facing one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters. Emergency thresholds have been reached, with more than 4 million people suffering hunger and very high levels of malnutrition.

The new funding package for South Sudan and the neighbouring countries comes as food insecurity is at emergency levels, the health system is in critical condition and the protection of civilians remains a key concern.

Background

Due to a devastating internal conflict, over 2 million people have fled their homes in South Sudan, including 600 000 who have sought refuge in neighbouring countries. More than half of the refugees are children. Large numbers of the population are currently stranded in hard to reach areas, where they lack enough food and basic commodities to sustain themselves.

There is limited access to health care and medicines throughout the country. In addition, the conflict has been marked by grave and repeated human rights violations.

Regular access in order to adequately assist the South Sudanese people remains a major challenge, as aid delivery takes place under extremely challenging circumstances. Hostilities and attacks against humanitarian workers continue. Over the last two months alone, additional restrictions to access have been put in place, including a ban on river and road transport, leading to a rise in the cost of humanitarian interventions.