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EU scales up humanitarian aid for Sudan and South Sudan by €30 million

European Commission - IP/12/1360   12/12/2012

Other available languages: FR DE BG

European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 12 December 2012

EU scales up humanitarian aid for Sudan and South Sudan by €30 million

Due to the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in Sudan and South Sudan, the European Commission is boosting its humanitarian assistance by €30 million for both countries. The main concern is the ever increasing number of refugees and displaced people fleeing the conflict area of South Kordofan and Blue Nile State in Sudan, mainly to South Sudan and Ethiopia.

“The conflict in the border region has turned more than 210,000 people into refugees. Another 650,000 are internally displaced. These numbers keep rising. On top, food prospects are dire for more than half of the population, as floods and war have damaged the harvest. We have to react fast before it’s too late. And reports about the situation in South Kordofan and Blue Nile are very worrying. There can be no excuse for not letting in humanitarian assistance to people who need it,” said Kristalina Georgieva, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.

More and more refugees are arriving in already-full camps in South Sudan. They are completely dependent on humanitarian assistance and increase the risk of cholera and other diseases. Almost half of the South Sudanese population, 4.7 million people, suffers from food insecurity.

In Sudan, the delivery of aid is extremely difficult due to restricted access. In South Kordofan and Blue Nile, humanitarian workers are not allowed to reach hundreds of thousands victims of conflict. After nine years of conflict in Darfur, there are still 3.5 million people dependent on humanitarian assistance, including 1.7 million internally displaced.

Commissioner Georgieva renewed her appeal to all parties to allow access to Sudanese people in need: “It is vital that neutral, impartial and experienced humanitarian workers can reach vulnerable people to assess their needs and to deliver the assistance necessary for their survival.”

The new funding brings the Commission's relief aid in Sudan and South Sudan to €157 million for this year. It will support immediate life-saving activities such as distributing essential food and non-food items, as well as providing shelter, health, protection, water, hygiene and sanitation. The assistance will reach the most vulnerable people including refugees, returnees and internally displaced people.

Background

The European Commission has been supporting life-saving activities in Sudan and South Sudan since the mid-1990s. A team of humanitarian experts of the Commission is on the ground monitoring the situation, assessing needs and overseeing the use of EU funds. The European Commission is working with humanitarian organisations that are best placed to deliver assistance in the countries concerned (The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Food Programme, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and several NGOs).

The EU has also provided Sudan and South Sudan with €285 million of development assistance since 2012. This assistance targets the basic needs of the most vulnerable people in conflict-affected areas.

For more information

The European Commission's humanitarian aid and civil protection:

http://ec.europa.eu/echo/index_en.htm

Commissioner Georgieva's website:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/georgieva/index_en.htm

Commissioner Georgieva's Twitter and Facebook account:

https://twitter.com/kgeorgievaeu

www.facebook.com/KristalinaGeorgieva

Contacts :

Irina Novakova (+32 2 295 75 17)

David Sharrock (+32 2 296 89 09)


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