16 December 2012

Sudan: EU Earmarks ?30 Million As Aid for Sudan, South Sudan

Juba — The European Commission has earmarked €30m as humanitarian assistance for Sudan and South Sudan, in order to tackle the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in both countries.

The funds, the Commission said, will mainly assist the ever-increasing number of refugees and displaced people fleeing the conflict in Sudan's South Kordofan and Blue Nile States to neighbouring South Sudan and Ethiopia.

Up to 210,000 people, aid agencies say, have fled the conflict in the region in to South Sudan and Ethiopia, with another 650,000 reportedly internally displaced.

"These numbers keep rising. On top, food prospects are dire for more than half of the population, as floods and war have damaged the harvest. We have to react fast before it is too late. And reports about the situation in South Kordofan and Blue Nile are very worrying.

There can be no excuse for not letting in humanitarian assistance to people who need it," said Kristalina Georgieva, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.

With more and more refugees said to be arriving in already full camps in South Sudan, the European Commission expressed concerns over risk of cholera and other diseases in these camps.

In Sudan, the delivery of aid is extremely difficult due to restricted access, the Commission said.

"In South Kordofan and Blue Nile, humanitarian workers are not allowed to reach hundreds of thousands victims of conflict. After nine years of conflict in Darfur, there are still 3.5 million people dependent on humanitarian assistance, including 1.7 million internally displaced," it added in a statement.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Georgieva renewed her appeal to all parties in the conflict to allow access to Sudanese people in need.

"It is vital that neutral, impartial and experienced humanitarian workers can reach vulnerable people to assess their needs and to deliver the assistance necessary for their survival," she said.

The newly announced fund brings to €157 million the Commission's relief aid in Sudan and South Sudan to for this year alone.

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