DONORS PLEDGE MORE THAN $600 MILLION FOR HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE TO SOUTH SUDAN CRISIS
OSLO, Norway, May 20, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The international donor community today raised more than US$600 million in pledges to scale up humanitarian response to the South Sudan crisis at a conference hosted by Norway in collaboration with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
“These generous pledges will, once paid, translate into life-saving relief to the most vulnerable people in South Sudan and to those who have sought refuge in neighbouring countries. The UN and our humanitarian partners must now do our part and deliver,” said Valerie Amos, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, who co-chaired the conference with Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende.
“We expect the parties to the conflict to honour their agreement signed 9 May. The fighting must stop so that people can plant and tend to their livestock. Humanitarian access must be guaranteed so aid organizations can reach more people in need,” said Mr. Brende.
Violence and fear have forced over 1.3 million people from their homes since fighting began in South Sudan in mid-December 2013. This includes more than 325,000 who have sought refuge in Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda. One-third of South Sudanese people are severely food insecure as a result of conflict, displacement, destroyed markets and disrupted livelihoods.
UN emergency experts point to a small window of opportunity to prevent the crisis from deteriorating into a catastrophe - but increased humanitarian access and assistance is critical.
Despite the complexity of the situation on the ground including high levels of insecurity, humanitarian workers have so far reached 1.3 million people with life-saving assistance since the conflict erupted. But much more needs to be done.
UN and humanitarian partners need a total of $1.8 billion to implement their response plan for 2014. The regional refugee plan requires $371 million. Pledges made today go a substantial way to funding these appeals.