Today the European Commission has announced an emergency aid package worth €82 million as famine has been declared in South Sudan for the first time since the country gained independence in 2011.
One hundred thousand people are facing starvation in parts of the country while 40 per cent of the population (4.9 million people) is in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.
“The humanitarian tragedy in South Sudan is entirely man made. Urgent action is needed to prevent more people from dying of hunger, – announcing the funding, Commissioner Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said.
“I have seen for myself the impact of this crisis when visiting South Sudan and neighbouring countries such as Uganda, and I’m ready to return to the region. Crucially what matters is that all parties allow humanitarian organisations to have immediate and full access to do their job and deliver aid. Ultimately it is only by laying down arms that the country can be rebuilt and that the hopes that came with independence can be fulfilled.”
The new EU humanitarian aid package will be used for the most urgent needs in the country and help neighbouring countries cope with the massive influx of refugees.
To date, the European Commission has made more than €381 million available to respond to the worsening humanitarian crisis in South Sudan since fighting erupted in December 2013.