A LARGE shortfall in funding is hampering the humanitarian
response in South Sudan, a coalition of agencies said in a
statement on Tuesday.
As donors prepared to meet in Geneva to pledge contributions,
agencies warned that, by the end of July, 40 per cent of the
country's population - 4.6 million - would be "severely food
insecure". Only a third of the $1.63 billion needed to respond to
the humanitarian crisis had been funded, they said.
The World Food Programme announced last Friday that it would
have to cut food rations for half a million refugees in two Kenyan
camps, owing to a shortage of funds. On the same day, UNICEF warned
that funds for lifesaving services were available only until the
end of the month; the funding received covers only 16 per cent of
the $117 million required.
On Tuesday, it was announced that more than $275 million had
been pledged in Geneva. The UK was second only to the United States
in contribution, donating $61 million.
"The pledges show that the world has not forgotten the people of
South Sudan," the commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis
management at the European Commission, Christos Stylianides, said.
The commission pledged $55 million. "This is a man-made crisis
which cannot be solved by humanitarian aid alone. A political
solution is urgently needed," Mr Stylianides said.
The statement from the charities on Tuesday condemns "the
appalling increase in violence in Unity and Upper Nile States" (
News, 22 May). It goes on: "Even those who manage to escape are
being driven deeper into the bush, or are hiding in swamps and
islands, further cut off from aid."
In addition to the withdrawal of aid agencies from Unity State,
UN human-rights monitors have been denied access to various sites
by members of the Sudan People's Liberation Army, as they sought to
verify reports of killings, rapes, and the burning of towns and
This month, the government of South Sudan decided to expel the
UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator in the country, Toby Lanzer. He has
warned that, in half of the country, one in three children are
acutely malnourished, and 250,000 children face starvation.
"The continuation of hostilities . . . is tantamount to the
abdication by the South Sudanese leaders of their most fundamental
responsibility to their own people," the African Union's Peace and
Security Council said on Tuesday.