The European Union has offered South Sudan £43.5 million as aid to fund its dire humanitarian sector characterised by Covid-19, floods and conflict.
In a press statement seen by The EastAfrican over the weekend, the EU said the money will be used to help those in dire need of food as well as those affected by human-made and natural hazards.
“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.
“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 per cent of the total aid to South Sudan,” said Janez Lenarčic, EU Commissioner for Crisis Management who announced the funding in South Sudan.
Mr Lenarčic stressed that humanitarian response is urgently needed to ensure that 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.
“The EU funding will help address acute humanitarian needs, provide humanitarian protection to communities affected by violence and strengthen preparedness to deal with new shocks, including epidemics and natural hazards.
“With millions of children remaining out of school in South Sudan, part of the funding will also be allocated to education,” he added.
According to reports, in South Sudan, there are over 8 million people whose fundamental needs are not met, including more than 7 million others who are food insecure.
Since the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, the EU says it has mobilised a wide range of tools and instruments in direct response to the broader humanitarian and development challenges in South Sudan.
The commission added that in 2020, it allocated over €21 million to the pandemic response in the country, including by financing two Humanitarian Air Bridge flights that brought 65 tonnes of personal protective equipment for frontline workers in July 2020.
This year, it supported the delivery of Covid-19 vaccines to South Sudan through the Covax facility, which delivered its initial shipment at the end of March.