As the situation in South Sudan worsens and aid delivery is increasingly challenging, the European Commission has released €20 million in new humanitarian assistance for the country.
Food insecurity is at emergency levels. An estimated 40 000 people will face famine if aid is not provided urgently, especially in southern Unity State. The country's health system is also in a critical condition with ongoing measlesand malaria outbreaks.
"The suffering of the people of South Sudan is beyond imagination. The humanitarian situation is disastrous two years since the start of the conflict. The country is now on the brink of famine, while aid workers struggle to reach those in need. It is crucial that humanitarian access is granted and lifesaving assistance provided urgently to the South Sudanese people. The reported violations of international humanitarian law and abuses against civilians must stop. The people of South Sudan deserve to live in peace," said Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.
The additional funds will be used to meet urgent food assistance needs, as well as to provide basic emergency health and nutrition services. The new funding brings the Commission's total humanitarian assistance for South Sudan and the neighbouring countries affected by the crisis to nearly €165 million for 2015.
South Sudan is facing one of the world's worst humanitarian disasters. The conflict, which started in December 2013, has led to more than 2 million people fleeing their homes, over 600 000 of whom have moved to neighbouring countries. More than half of the refugees are children.
Despite a peace agreement signed in August 2015, the security situation remains volatile. Clashes continue to be reported, notably in Unity State. The South Sudanese conflict has also been marked by violations of international humanitarian law and grave human rights abuses. The abuses against civilians reached unprecedented levels this autumn.
Humanitarian access remains difficult and challenging. The resumption of violence has caused humanitarian partners to withdraw from many affected areas, depriving an estimated 250 000 people of urgently needed assistance and protection for nearly two months. Hostilities and attacks against humanitarians continue, with at least 41 humanitarian workers killed since the beginning of the conflict.
For more information:
South Sudan factsheet:
South Sudan country page:
Press release - EU increases humanitarian aid to South Sudan (18 September 2015):
Joint Statement on the signature by President Kiir of the peace agreement for South Sudan (26 August 2015)