The European Union today announced $86.4 million in emergency aid a day after famine was declared in South Sudan.
On Monday, the National Bureau of Statistics and UN agencies – Unicef, FAO, and WFP – attributed the famine to “war and a collapsing economy”. They said 3 years of conflict severely undermined crop production and rural livelihoods.
They said the former Unity State was hard hit, with over 100,000 people facing starvation. Genrally, 40 per cent of the population (4.9 million people) is in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.
In a statement issued today, EU’s Commissioner Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides described the famine as “man made”.
“Urgent action is needed to prevent more people from dying of hunger. I have seen for myself the impact of this crisis when visiting South Sudan and neighboring countries such as Uganda, and I’m ready to return to the region,” he said.
“Crucially what matters is that all parties allow humanitarian organizations to have immediate and full access to do their job and deliver aid. Ultimately it is only by laying down arms that the country can be rebuilt and that the hopes that came with independence can be fulfilled.”
The new EU humanitarian aid package will be used for the most urgent needs in the country and help neighbouring countries cope with the massive influx of refugees, according to the statement.
Since the conflict erupted in December 2013, the European Commission has offered over $401.4 million in response to humanitarian situation.