The Netherlands to give €4 million in humanitarian aid to South Sudan

The Netherlands will donate an additional €4 million to the Humanitarian Action Plan for South Sudan. In taking this step the Minister for European Affairs and International Cooperation, Ben Knapen, is responding to an appeal by the United Nations and various NGOs.

The money is intended for food programmes run by two UN bodies, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The funds will be managed by the UN’s donor fund and NGOs in South Sudan.

Last year, following a referendum, South Sudan gained its independence from the government in Khartoum in the north of the country. The new country’s population is facing major problems: violent conflicts, refugees, a closed border with the North, the financial impact of suspended oil production, poor harvests and rising food prices. It is expected that 4.7 million people will be affected by a food shortage, 1 million of whom severely so. To compound these problems, the population is expected to grow, since between 500,000 and 700,000 people have not yet decided whether to be nationals of Sudan or South Sudan.

The €4 million pledged by the Netherlands is in addition to this country’s general contributions to the International Red Cross, the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), the UN’s refugee organisation (UNHCR) and WFP. These general funds can also be used in South Sudan.

The United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden and the European Union are also working to relieve the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan.