More than $600m pledged for crisis in South Sudan

20 May 14
The international community today committed to continue to help meet urgent humanitarian needs in South Sudan, with the four biggest donors pledging over $600m.

Meeting at the United Nations' second South Sudan Humanitarian Pledging conference in the Norwegian capital Oslo, delegates from 41 international donors were told funding would help avert the looming famine and humanitarian crisis brought on by ongoing violence in the country, which erupted last December.

Speaking at the high-level conference, the South Sudanese government and it opposition leaders expressed their readiness to work with the international community to mobilise aid.

Norway, one of the four biggest donors, said it would allocate $63m to humanitarian efforts in South Sudan. Børge Brende, Norway’s foreign affairs minister and co-chair of the conference said: ‘Rapid action is needed to prevent the situation from deteriorating further.

‘By making this contribution, Norway is sending a clear signal about the gravity of the situation.’

The UK’s Department for International Development pledged $101m to the crisis.

International development minister Lynne Featherstone said the new aid package would give thousands of people the food, water and medicine they need to survive.

She added: ‘The [South Sudanese] government and opposition need to take steps to speed up the delivery of aid. Clearance through customs for humanitarian goods should take a few days, not almost a month.’

The US Agency for International Development pledged $291m in new assistance.

Nancy Lindborg, assistance administrator at USAID, said parts of the fund would go towards helping more than 300,000 refugees that have crossed into Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda.

A further $164m came from the European Union’s Community Humanitarian Office. Kristalina Georgieva, the ECHO commissioner responsible for international cooperation, humanitarian aid and crisis response said: ‘[This is] the time for South Sudan to show what it can do for its own people.

‘It would be helpful if as soon as this conference is over you put your Budget out there and allocate money to help your own people. May this be the last humanitarian conference for South Sudan.’

Other donors who pledged support at the conference included Japan, Denmark and Germany, promising $12m, $10m and $8m respectively.

The conference aims to secure $1.26bn for operations in 2014 and supplies for the first three months of 2015. Prior to this conference, the international community provided $536m until May 2014 for the South Sudan crisis appeal.

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