What are the needs?
South Sudan is the world's newest country, created by separation from its neighbouring Sudan on 9 July 2011. Yet, it is one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world. The ongoing conflict comes on top of existing challenges due decades of civil war, diseases, seasonal flooding, underdevelopment and extreme poverty.
South Sudan has been plagued by continuous crises which have generated huge humanitarian needs. Most South Sudanese struggle to meet their basic necessities. Food insecurity affects half of the population and malnutrition is chronic in many parts of the country. Most recently, an outbreak of cholera has begun spreading within the country.
The latest armed violence – which broke out in the capital Juba on the 15th December 2013 and subsequently spread to six out of South Sudan’s ten states – has left in its wake thousands dead and more than 1.7 million uprooted from their homes. Fleeing to safety from the areas of armed violence, people abandon their whole livelihoods and become extremely vulnerable and dependent on external help.
South Sudan hosts about 240 000 refugees from neighbouring countries, the majority of which from Sudan's conflict-torn South Kordofan and Blue Nile States living mainly in camps in remote areas of Unity State and Upper Nile State. South Sudan is also home to a small number of refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia and the Central African Republic (CAR)..
On 23 January 2014, an agreement on the cessation of hostilities in South Sudan was signed in Addis Ababa, but violations of the agreement by both sides have since been reported. A rapid improvement in the security situation is needed to allow unhindered deployment of aid workers and relief supplies throughout the country.
How are we helping?
The European Commission has been supporting life-saving activities in South Sudan making over € 83 million available in humanitarian aid for 2014 with an additional € 15 million for South Sudanese refugees in neighbouring countries. In total, the European Union – its Member States and the European Commission – has provided over € 200 million in emergency humanitarian aid funding to South Sudan..
Aid includes assistance for internally displaced people, returnees and refugees providing them with basic healthcare, access to clean water, sanitation and food assistance. A team of ECHO experts is permanently based in the country, working closely with partner relief organisations and monitoring the situation and the efficient use of EU funds. They are backed by a team in Brussels which organises the funding and advocacy for unhindered humanitarian aid provision. Humanitarian partners of the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) in South Sudan include UN agencies, as well as non-governmental and international organisations.
The working environment for the provision of aid in South Sudan is extremely difficult: humanitarian access is uncertain, the transport infrastructure almost inexistent and the security situation very volatile.