February 22, 2017 (JUBA) - The European Commission has announced an emergency aid worth €82 million in the wake of the declaration of famine outbreak in South Sudan.
- European flags are seen outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels (Reuters Photo)
At least 100,000 people, aid agencies said, are facing starvation in parts of the country while 4.9 million of them need urgent humanitarian assistance.
"The humanitarian tragedy in South Sudan is entirely 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 neighbouring countries such as Uganda, and I’m ready to return to the region," the EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides said in a statement.
"Crucially what matters is that all parties allow humanitarian organisations 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," it adds.
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.
To date, the European Commission has reportedly made more than €381 million available to respond to the worsening humanitarian crisis in South Sudan since fighting erupted in December 2013 in areas such as health and nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene interventions, education as well as shelter and protection.
The EU is one of the biggest donors of humanitarian aid in South Sudan, having provided over 40% of all humanitarian financing to support life-saving programmes in 2016.