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Proliferation of humanitarian needs in Sudan means greater funding required

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KHARTOUM, Sudan, June 2, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan has expressed alarm and concern that the marked increase in humanitarian needs in the country is not being met with a sufficient level of

aid, putting at risk hundreds of thousands of affected people throughout Sudan. He confirmed that so far the UN and its partners have only received 33% of the US$ 995 million needed in 2014 to meet the country's humanitarian needs.

Earlier in 2014, in response to Sudan's growing humanitarian needs, the Under‐Secretary‐General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Ms. Valerie Amos, who oversees the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), authorized an initial amount of US$ 20 million to support lifesaving projects in Sudan and later released an additional US$ 6.5 million from the CERF to support the needs of the South Sudanese citizens seeking shelter in Sudan.

“While there seems to be less international humanitarian funding available for Sudan due to emerging crises elsewhere in the region and other reasons, Sudan's humanitarian needs are increasing. In the first quarter of 2014 alone, close to 300,000 people in Darfur were displaced from their homes by violence.

These people join the 2 million people in Darfur who are already living in camps and depend on international humanitarian aid to survive. The conflict in South Sudan has also driven thousands of civilians, some 80,000 in total so far, to take refuge in Sudan. This figure will likely grow, if instability continues,” said Ali Al-Za'tari, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan.

The CERF funding is provided in response to underfunded and/or rapid response situations both of which afflict Sudan but is not an alternative to sustainable international funding. The CERF funding augments the Sudan Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF), which has been operating in Sudan since 2006 and has been witnessing a steady decline in the past three years from US$79.9 million in 2012 and US$56.5 million in 2013 to US$39.4million in 2014. Both funds support Sudan's UN and partner's humanitarian strategic response plan which remains strikingly underfunded.

“Both the CERF and the CHF help humanitarian organizations receive funding quickly when it is needed to save lives. They help humanitarian organizations improve access to primary healthcare and malnutrition, and provide shelter and the clearance of unexploded ordnance, but this is not an alternative to sustainable international funding” said Ali Al-Za'tari.

Sudan has qualified in previous years for both underfunded and rapid response CERF funding and had received in 2013 the highest CERF allocation of US$ 47.5 million among eligible countries due to the crises it witnessed.

“We are grateful for the CERF and the CHF. We are also grateful to the Member States and all partners that contribute to them. The CERF and CHF funding alone, however, cannot be expected to meet all of Sudan's mounting humanitarian needs. The donor community and the government of Sudan are therefore called upon to step up its support to the Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan directly and through and the Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF), which together with the CERF are key to saving lives and protecting affected people,” Al-Za'tari said.