The European Union has allocated 43.5 million Euros in humanitarian assistance to South Sudan.
Commissioner for Crisis Management in the European Union, Janez Lenarčic who is in the country, announced the new funding on Thursday.
The assistance will be used to provide protection and food to the most vulnerable people affected by natural disaster and conflict. Part of the money will be spent on provision of education to children affected by emergencies, according to a press statement released on Thursday.
“The humanitarian situation across South Sudan is extremely dire. Parts of this youngest African country are facing famine-like conditions and the country as a whole is bracing itself for the worst food crisis ever,” Lenarčic said.
Shortage of food in South Sudan is alarmingly high in 2021, the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) assessment revealed. It warned that 7.24 million people will face severe acute hunger at the height of the lean season in July, while 1.4 million children will be acutely malnourished.
According to UN reports, the situation is ignited by violence, Covid-19 pandemic and the flooding that lowered food production to almost nothing in many parts of the country last year. The shrinking volume of foreign donation will mean huge unmet needs to many people in the world’s youngest nation.
Lenarčic warned that the situation could worsen next year and called for urgent intervention.
“There seems to be little international interest in this acute situation in the country. Only five donors, including the European Commission, account for almost 77% of the total aid to South Sudan. This lack of interest risks turning this already disastrous situation into a forgotten crisis. A scale-up of the humanitarian response is urgently needed from all donors to ensure the adequate capacities are in place. Not getting things right now will make matters even worse next year with even more lives being lost,” he said.
Earlier this month, UN-World Food Program announced that it has been forced by funding gap to cut food rations for internally displaced people and refugees in the country. WFP stated that nearly 700,000 of people in need would be receiving half of the full monthly ration starting from April 2021.