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EU boosts humanitarian aid in Sudan and South Sudan

Refugees crossing the border into South Sudan © EU/Malini Morzaria
27/07/2012  - 

The European Commission is increasing its support to the victims of the worsening humanitarian crisis in Sudan and South Sudan. The Commission aims to help hundreds of thousands of refugees in South Sudan and Ethiopia who have fled the conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

To meet their growing needs, the Commission is boosting its humanitarian aid for Sudan and South Sudan by €40 million. This brings the Commission's relief aid in the two countries to €127 million for this year.

‘Our humanitarian experts in the crisis areas have alerted me that the situation is deteriorating fast and the needs are growing. It is vital to scale up our immediate response in the border areas,’ said Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva.

In South Sudan, the humanitarian situation has deteriorated drastically in 2012. The influx of refugees into already full camps has boosted food insecurity and the risks of cholera, malaria and other diseases. Poor harvests have exacerbated food shortages – half of the population of South Sudan – 4.7 million people – are food insecure, up from 3.8 million last year. This situation is likely to worsen due to the government's decision to shut down oil production and therefore 98% of its revenues.

The vicious circle of disease and malnutrition pushes up mortality rates, particularly among children. Access to people in need is restricted by insecurity and the rainy season, which has made many roads impassable and the delivery of essential aid impossible.

Sudanese refugees from Blue Nile state keep flowing into Ethiopia and humanitarian organisations are increasingly concerned about the health and nutritional situation in refugee camps and transit centres. Extremely alarming malnutrition rates are being reported among refugees, particularly in the Bambasi camp.

In Sudan, the conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile is ongoing. Neutral humanitarian organisations are denied access and therefore struggle to deliver assistance to people in need. The Commission remains engaged and ready to intervene as soon as access conditions are in place. In Darfur, in spite of access constraints, humanitarian assistance is being provided to victims of conflict, as new displacements continue.

Commissioner Georgieva has reiterated her appeal to the Government of Sudan to allow assistance to reach all Sudanese people in need, wherever they are.