Donors Pledge Over $600m For South Sudan

This article was last updated on May 26, 2022

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“Today based on the needs… I am very pleased to announce that the total contribution mobilized through this conference is more than US$600 million,” Mr. Borge Brende, the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs told journalists in a news conference. 

“This figure represents nearly a doubling of the funds made available to the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan and it is significant and it will save lives combined with the commitment from the government.”  

Brende was “delighted that Norway’s hosting of the “pledging conference has helped to raise the much needed money to avoid the crisis in South Sudan from becoming a catastrophe. 

He said the funds will provide life-saving assistance for children and adults who are in a desperate situation. The funds according to him will be channeled through humanitarian organizations on the ground in South Sudan that are providing food, water, healthcare, shelter, protection, and emergency education for children. 

Earlier, UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), at least US$1.26billion is required to be able to respond to the humanitarian crisis in the new nation.

The armed conflict in South Sudan started late last year following a coup attempt allegedly masterminded by the former Vice President Dr. Riek Machar.

The conflict has now displaced over a million people and has affected over five million people across the country. 

Peace talks mediated by the regional bloc, the Inter-governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) in the Ethiopian Capital, Addis Ababa has yielded little effort to avert conflict. 

The UN and humanitarian organizations in the country now wants a total of US$1.8 billion for humanitarian aid. 

Prior to the pledging conference, the UN said it received around US$600 billion, half of the earlier required funding. 

“By this conference, we have got the world’s attention to a full-blown catastrophe in the making,” Brende said. “The people of South Sudan will need humanitarian support for a long time to come.”

Organized by the Norwegian government in cooperation with UNOCHA, over 50 countries and aid agencies including the United Nations attended the conference held at the Norwegian Capital, Oslo. 

The Norwegian Foreign Affairs Minister said of the funds raised in the conference, the United Kingdom, US and the European Union pledged 75% of the total contribution. 

The funds will be administered by the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and some of the humanitarian agencies. 

South Sudan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin commended the effort of the Norwegian government in staging the grand pledging conference, describing it as “significant.” 

Not a Solution 

However, the fund raised is a peanut contribution to avert the crisis in the fledgling country, observers said, stressing that political will from the parties that have held the country hostage is paramount. 

“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,” Brende said.

United Nations Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos said South Sudan is among UN’s priority countries to provide assistance to.

With the onset of rainy season in the country, over a million internally displaced persons are expected to face severe humanitarian crisis with over 50,000 children expected to die of malnutrition as almost half of the country’s population is expected to face famine. 

“Without (the parties committing themselves to respecting the Cessation of Hostilities and international humanitarian law), we as humanitarian partners cannot do our work,” Amos warned. 

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