South Sudan: More than $600 million pledged for humanitarian crisis

20 May 2014

March 2014, Mingkaman, South Sudan: A child displaced by fighting in South Sudan. An estimated 1.3 million people have been displaced by violence that started in mid-December 2013. Credit: UNICEF
Donors have pledged more than US$600 million to fund critical humanitarian assistance in South Sudan.

The international donor community today pledged more than US$600 million in humanitarian funding for South Sudan at a conference hosted by Norway and 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,” said UN Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos who co-chaired the meeting.

“We expect the parties to the conflict to honour their [peace] agreement signed 9 May,” said Norway’s Foreign Minister Børge Brende, Ms. Amos’ co-chair. “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."

Violence and fear

Violence and fear have forced over 1.3 million people from their homes since fighting begin 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 all South Sudanese are severely food insecure as a result of conflict, displacement, destroyed markets and disrupted livelihoods.

UN officials point to a small window of opportunity to prevent the crisis from deteriorating into catastrophe – but increased humanitarian access and assistance is critical.

A total of $1.8 billion is needed

Despite the complexity of the situation on the ground, aid workers have managed to reach 1.3 million people with support since the fighting started. But more needs to be done.

The UN and its humanitarian partners need a total of $1.8 billion to provide life-saving assistance throughout 2014. A further $371 million is needed to help those who have fled South Sudan for refuge in neighbouring countries.