South Sudan Needs Urgent Humanitarian Assistance
On the third anniversary of South Sudan’s independence, the Humanitarian Coalition is extremely concerned by the rapidly rising demand for emergency assistance as well as the shortfall in funding required to address the needs of the most vulnerable.
The ongoing conflict in the world’s youngest country has displaced 1.5 million people, including almost 400,000 who fled to neighbouring Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan, and Kenya. The turmoil is disrupting farming activities and impeding access to village markets, putting 4 million people at risk of severe hunger.
Recent estimates from the United Nations (UN) indicate that 235,000 children under five will be malnourished and 50,000 may die if food aid and nutrition programs are not urgently scaled up. Gender-based violence is also on the rise as a result of the conflict, and an outbreak of cholera has infected more than 2,000 people and caused more than 60 deaths so far.
The member agencies of the Humanitarian Coalition were working in South Sudan well before the violence began. Now, they are responding to the crisis by providing emergency food; water sanitation and hygiene training; basic medical treatment; sexual and reproductive health services; and protection for refugees with a special attention to women and girls.
While the global fundraising target set by the UN for the emergency relief effort in South Sudan for 2014 is $1.8 billion, less than half of that amount has been pledged by donor governments and raised by NGOs. Without this money, the rapidly deteriorating situation is expected to lead to famine conditions before the end of the year.
Canada, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD), has played a role in answering the UN’s call. It allocated more than $29 million in humanitarian assistance for the crisis in South Sudan, and recently added the country to its list of Development Countries of Focus, thus increasing the bilateral aid it will receive.
Steadfast in our determination to help the people of South Sudan, and despite the security challenges and relatively low level of attention the crisis is attracting, we continue to monitor and respond to the growing needs. As Canada’s only partnership between leading humanitarian agencies to enhance coordination, maximize impact, and engage Canadians, the Humanitarian Coalition strongly urges Canadians to consider making a donation to its member agencies. Together, we can alleviate the alarming suffering of individuals, families, and entire communities living in very precarious circumstances.
The Humanitarian Coalition has repeatedly called for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in South Sudan. We do so again today, on this sombre anniversary.
To learn more about how Humanitarian Coalition member agencies are responding and to make a donation to relief efforts, please visit their websites:
About the Humanitarian Coalition
The Humanitarian Coalition is Canada's only joint appeal mechanism. It is comprised of CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Québec, Plan International Canada and Save the Children Canada. With a combined presence in more than 120 countries, we bring together Canada's leading aid agencies to finance relief efforts in times of international humanitarian crises. We work together to eliminate unnecessary competition, reduce the duplication of fundraising costs, and inform the public on humanitarian needs.