Aid workers in race to get food to South Sudan

10 Feb 16

The humanitarian community is appealing for urgent funding as aid workers race against the clock to scale up their response to unprecedented levels of hunger in South Sudan.


People in displaced persons camp in Juba, South Sudan

People in displaced persons camp in Juba, South Sudan


At the start of this week, three UN agencies warned that 25% of people in the world’s youngest country are in urgent need of assistance and at least 40,000 are “on the brink of catastrophe”. Humanitarian workers are appealing for $220m to reach these people before the dry season ends, after which they could be cut off by rains.

“Aid workers are in a race against time to respond in areas previously cut off by fighting and rains, and to pre-position vital supplies ahead of the next rainy season,” said Eugene Owusu, humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan.

“If we are unable to act now, the situation will be much worse, and the response will be much more costly in the months ahead.”

This year, only about 2% of the humanitarian community’s $1.3bn appeal for South Sudan has been received.

To kick start the response to the food crisis, Owusu has allocated $20.3m from the UN’s South Sudan Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF) – a pooled funding mechanism that supports the allocation and disbursement of donor resources to meet the most critical needs.

However $220m is still urgently required, and Owusu appealed to donors to “give generously, and to give now” to replenish the CHF and fund other critical components of the response.

“We are facing widespread food insecurity, displacement and disease. We need funding now to save lives, alleviate suffering and get supplies out before the rain sets in,” he urged.

“I am deeply concerned that we are facing increasing needs with diminishing resources. The world must not let South Sudan become a forgotten crisis. Humanitarian partners are standing ready to respond, but they cannot do so without funding.”

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