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Minister Sherlock announces €1.5 million funding to fight the threat of famine in South Sudan

Minister of State for Development, Trade Promotion and North South Co-operation, Seán Sherlock, TD, today announced the allocation of €1.5 million to address the immediate needs of those most at risk of famine in South Sudan.

Minister Sherlock spoke today about the threat of impending famine in South Sudan:

“I am gravely concerned by the deteriorating humanitarian situation in South Sudan. Ireland will provide an additional allocation of €1.5 million to the UN Common Humanitarian Fund for South Sudan in response to the crisis.

“This funding will assist the UN and its partners in their efforts to meet the urgent needs of the most vulnerable communities in South Sudan through the provision of food, clean water, healthcare, shelter, sanitation, hygiene and protection. This brings to €6.5 million the funding provided by Ireland to the South Sudanese crisis in 2014.

“Eight months into the current crisis nearly 2 million people have been displaced from their homes. Hunger and malnutrition are on the rise with almost 4 million people facing food insecurity.“

Minister Sherlock also spoke of his concern about the safety and security of those delivering humanitarian assistance and the need for all parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law:

“I would like to take this opportunity to express my condolences on behalf of the Irish people to the families, friends, and colleagues of the six South Sudanese aid workers who were killed in Maban County, Upper Nile State, and South Sudan.

“Ireland condemns in the strongest possible terms attacks on humanitarian personnel as they seek to deliver lifesaving assistance to the most vulnerable populations and calls for unhindered access to affected areas where they carry out their vital work.”

Notes to the editor:

• The humanitarian situation in South Sudan has been critical since armed violence broke out in the capital Juba on 15th December 2013 and subsequently spread to several states in South Sudan.

• There are 1.5 million people internally displaced with more than 420,000 refugees in neighbouring countries. The dead and the wounded are estimated to be in the tens of thousands. Almost 4 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.

• The Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF) for South Sudan is a UN-administered fund which provides funding to NGOs and UN agencies for their responses to critical humanitarian needs.