The European Commission has today announced €40 million in emergency humanitarian assistance for people affected by the crisis in South Sudan, bringing the total support from the Commission to €103 million for 2016. The funding comes as the humanitarian situation worsens in the country, with more than 40,000 people displaced following the eruption of renewed fighting in the capital Juba earlier this month.
"The recent deadly escalation of hostilities in South Sudan is extremely worrying and threatens the very fragile situation in the country. The EU stands by those most in need caught up in the conflict. The emergency aid will address the overall deteriorating humanitarian situation in the country, providing crucial supplies such as food and nutrition, water and sanitation, protection and healthcare. I urge all parties to respect their obligation to grant unhindered and safe humanitarian access to those in need. Furthermore, the systematic looting of humanitarian facilities is unacceptable and must stop immediately," said Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.
The recent violence has made the already fragile food supply and nutrition situation in the country reach critical levels in many areas. Access to medicine throughout the country is limited, with humanitarian organisations providing the majority of healthcare.
Together the European Commission and Member States are providing more than 43% of the overall humanitarian response in the country.
Having recently marked the 5th anniversary of independence, South Sudan is the world's youngest country, yet it is already facing one of the world's worst humanitarian disasters.
Over 2 million people have been displaced both inside and outside South Sudan. Nearly 5 million people out of a total population of around 11.2 million are estimated to be severely food insecure. The South Sudanese conflict has also been marked by violations of international humanitarian law and serious human rights abuses.
Humanitarian access remains difficult and challenging. Before the latest upsurge of violence, 55 humanitarian workers were killed in the country since the conflict started in December 2013. The operational environment for relief agencies worsened in 2016 due to rising criminality, insecurity in large parts of the country and as a result of obstruction and taxation by authorities. The recent conflict has also been marked by extensive and systematic looting by all armed actors.
Despite having relocated some non-essential staff from the most affected areas in this last escalation of violence, EU humanitarian partners remain active in the field and already providing much needed life-saving assistance to the most affected. The boosted funding announced today will allow them to respond to newly arising needs.
South Sudan factsheet: