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Brussels, 5 July 2012
Statement by Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva on Sudan and South Sudan
I take note of the Government of Sudan's acceptance of the Tripartite Proposal of the African Union, the Arab League and the United Nations for the efficient delivery of humanitarian assistance in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States, but I share the concerns expressed by the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, who called for urgent access to all the communities affected by the conflict.
It is vital that neutral, impartial, independent and experienced humanitarian workers can reach these people to assess their needs and to immediately deliver the assistance necessary for their survival.
I wish to reiterate the Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos's appeal to the Government of Sudan to allow assistance to reach all Sudanese people in need, wherever they are.
I confirm the European Commission's commitment to provide large-scale humanitarian assistance to these communities, just as soon as the Government of Sudan grants permission for unimpeded access by neutral humanitarian professionals.
The worsening humanitarian situation in Sudan and South Sudan, and the lack of access to populations surrounded by fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan and Blue Nile States, is a cause for deep concern to me. More than 200 000 people have fled to South Sudan and Ethiopia, where they arrive exhausted, famished, and impoverished. Many of the weakest die on their way and the newly arrived children are seriously malnourished. Those left behind live in a war zone, with no access to basic health services and with rapidly dwindling food stocks, as the fighting endangers local food production.
In Darfur, humanitarian workers are also not allowed to access rebel-controlled areas such as Jebel Mara and Jebel Si, and face strict limitations in other regions of Darfur and the East of Sudan where humanitarian needs are pressing. The humanitarian community is being prevented from providing life-saving assistance to vulnerable Sudanese people, although we have the means to do so.
In 2011 the European Commission provided € 140 million for humanitarian assistance to Sudan and South Sudan and in 2012 it has, so far, given € 87 million.