November 12, 2016 (JUBA) - The European Commission will provide €78 million in emergency aid to help those affected by the ongoing conflict in South Sudan.
- European flags are seen outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels (Reuters Photo)
Over a million refugees from South Sudan, aid agencies say, have fled South Sudan into neighbouring countries, with the number expected to grow.
The EU Commissioner, Christos Stylianides announced the funding during a visit to Uganda, one of the largest refugee and asylum-seekers hosting country in the world.
"The EU stands by the people of South Sudan who had to escape conflict and violence. I would like to pay tribute to Uganda for its hospitality in welcoming refugees and offering them an opportunity to rebuild their lives in dignity, which is an example for the region and beyond. Our new funding will help our humanitarian partner organisations get lifesaving aid to those who need it most," said Stylianides.
In recent months, however, attacks on relief agencies regularly occur in South Sudan.
"What’s crucial therefore is that humanitarian organisations have unhindered and safe access to do their lifesaving job," stressed the EU commissioner.
According to the senior EU official, €40 million will be allocated to humanitarian organisations in South Sudan itself, with €30 million to help displaced South Sudanese in Uganda, and a further €8 million for those in neighbouring Sudan.
The funding will contribute to life-saving activities in South Sudan, and to meet urgent needs of the displaced population in the neighbouring countries in terms of shelter, nutrition, healthcare, sanitation and protection, especially of children.
Of the funds allocated to Uganda, €10 million will reportedly come from the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa. The EU is among the biggest donors for the South Sudanese crisis and has provided nearly half a billion Euros since fighting erupted in December 2013.
Despite a peace deal signed in August 2015, fighting has spread around the country and intensified in 2016. The situation in South Sudan has reached catastrophic levels.
Nearly three million people have fled violence having been displaced in and outside the country as it faces the worst food security crisis since its July 2011 independence.