United Nations Emergency Fund releases $21 million to assist people affected by conflict in South Sudan

By United Nations (UN)

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced that US$21 million will be allocated from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund to provide urgent humanitarian assistance for people in South Sudan.

“This protracted conflict and worsening food insecurity have resulted in the urgent need for life-saving assistance. Timeliness of this assistance is critical, as time lost will result in lives lost. These CERF funds will provide protection and relief to people affected by conflict in South Sudan when it is needed the most,” said the Secretary-General during his visit to South Sudan. Approximately US$15 million of this will go towards assisting more than 250,000 people affected by conflict, many of whom are in areas that can only be reached by road. Prompt delivery of assistance by the United Nations and our humanitarian partners is essential now as there is only a small window of opportunity for the most vulnerable people to receive help before road access is restricted by the rainy season, expected to begin at the end of April. A further $6 million will go towards the relocation of more than 76,000 refugees from the Yida refugee camp in Unity State, to a new camp in Pamir. UNHCR and humanitarian partners will coordinate the relocation and provide refugees with emergency relief services. The majority of refugees are from South Kordofan State, Sudan, where the conflict remains unresolved. “This CERF allocation comes at a critical time, enabling an immediate response to the increasing humanitarian needs in South Sudan. However, much more is urgently needed to respond to the scale and urgency of the challenge. I call on donors to significantly increase their humanitarian funding to provide relief for those whose lives are most at risk,” said UN Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O'Brien. Since the crisis began in December 2013, CERF has provided more than $90 million in humanitarian funding for South Sudan. More than $100 million has also been provided to help South Sudanese refugees and host communities in neighbouring Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Sudan. In his recent report for the World Humanitarian Summit, the Secretary-General called for the global community to 'invest in humanity', specifically to expand CERF to reach $1 billion so that it can better address humanitarian situations such as that faced by South Sudan. This expansion would reflect the current global need for humanitarian assistance and enable responders to access the necessary funds whenever circumstances arise. CERF is one of the fastest and most effective ways to support rapid humanitarian response. The Fund pools donor contributions so that money is available to start or continue urgent relief work at the onset of emergencies and for crises that have not attracted sufficient funding. Since 2006, 125 UN Member States and observers, private sector donors and regional governments have supported the Fund. To date, CERF has allocated almost $4.2 billion for humanitarian operations in 94 countries and territories.