The European Union (EU) using its African Peace Facility Early Response Mechanism (ERM) has agreed to provide financial support to the mediation process in South Sudan facilitated by IGAD. One of the main objectives of ERM is to provide funds in urgent situations for the first stages of mediation activities. According to a statement from the EU delegation office to the AU, the € 1.1 Million (US$ 1.44 Million) earmarked on January 16th by the European Union will help IGAD and the African Union Commission to facilitate the mediation process in South Sudan to reach an agreement for resolving differences between the Government of the Republic of South Sudan and the opposition.
"Together with African Union, IGAD and the international community, the EU is working to prevent the crisis in South Sudan descending into a civil war," the statement reads. In a recent statement, EU High Representative Catherine Ashton welcomed the opening of the South Sudan Peace talks and appealed for rapid agreement on ceasefire, monitoring and humanitarian access.
In addition to the latest ERM support, the EU has announced € 50 Million for humanitarian action in South Sudan to cover basic needs with regard to food, healthcare, clean water, sanitation, shelter, protection etc. "As part of the EU's commitment to the people of South Sudan, the EU and its member states have so far provided around € 170 million in humanitarian assistance in 2013/14."