OSLO, Norway, May 20, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The international humanitarian pledging conference for South sudan has resulted in a doubling of the funds pledged by the international community for humanitarian efforts, from USD 600 million to over USD 1.2 billion. ‘I am delighted that Norway, by hosting this pledging conference, has helped to bring about a doubling of the funding for humanitarian efforts in South Sudan,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.
A full-scale humanitarian crisis has hit over five million people after armed conflict broke out in South sudan last December. The UN and humanitarian organisations in the country has requested USD 1.8 billion for humanitarian efforts. Prior to the pledging conference, the UN had received around USD 600 billion. At the pledging conference in Oslo today, which gathered representatives from over 50 countries, the UN and aid organisations, an additional USD 600 million was pledged.
‘By this conference, we have got the world’s attention to a full-blown catastrophe in the making. The people of South Sudan will need humanitarian support for a long time to come. Today, we have taken a significant step towards saving more lives and averting famine. These funds will provide life-saving assistance for children and adults who are in a desperate situation. The funds will be channelled through humanitarian organisations on the ground in South Sudan that are providing food, water, healthcare, shelter, protection, and emergency education for children,’ said Mr Brende.
Mr Brende underlined that in order to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan, it is critical that the parties to the conflict cease hostilities and grant humanitarian access to all civilians in acute need. The 1.3 million people who have had to flee their homes must be given the opportunity to return safely and rebuild their lives.
At the conference, Norway provided USD 63 million to the humanitarian response in South Sudan, in addition to the USD 17 million provided earlier this year. The Norwegian funds will be channelled through humanitarian actors, including UN agencies, NGOs and the International Committee of the Red Cross in South Sudan. In addition, some of the funds will be allocated to relief efforts in South Sudan’s neighbouring countries, which are experiencing a massive influx of refugees. Those who pledged the most at the conference included the US, the UK and the EU. The pledging conference was organised by Norway in cooperation with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).