Brussels — Today and tomorrow Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo brings a humanitarian work visit to South Sudan, where he will talk to humanitarian workers and representatives of the South Sudanese government and the international community. Of all the four countries affected by famine this year, South Sudan is the worst off.
In South Sudan, a civil war has been ravaging since December 2013, which has a devastating impact on South Sudan's population. Two million South Sudanese are on the run, half of all South Sudanese live in food insecurity. Hundreds of thousands of people are in acute danger and run the risk to die of starvation in the coming months.
Overall, in 2017, Belgium will spend 34 million euros on humanitarian interventions in the four countries affected by extreme famine: South Sudan, Nigeria, Yemen and Somalia. Minister De Croo decided, among other things, to double all donations to the campaign "Famine 12-12", releasing 10 million euros.
Most vulnerable victims
Today, a field visit to Old Fangak is on the agenda, a region in northern South Sudan where the World Food Program (WFP) distributes food among the heavily affected population. Minister De Croo will talk to humanitarian workers and to the heavily affected population. He will also visit a hospital that tries to save the most vulnerable victims of famine.
Tomorrow, in South Sudan's capital, Juba, a meeting will be held with UNMISS, the UN peacekeeping force, in charge of protecting the civilian population in very difficult circumstances. Minister De Croo will discuss the protection of citizens and humanitarian workers with UNMISS leadership and the diplomatic community in South Sudan. Since the beginning of the crisis, 82 humanitarian workers have been killed in this country.
Credible peace process
During talks with first vice-president Taban Deng, Minister De Croo will also emphasize the importance of an inclusive peace process. The only way to put an end to the humanitarian emergency situation in southern Sudan. In addition, Minister De Croo will give the South Sudanese government a clear message that violations of human rights should urgently come to an end, including the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war. Perpetrators of grave human rights violations must be identified and prosecuted.
On Thursday, minister De Croo travels to northern Uganda, where he, along with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, will make a work visit to Bidi Bidi, the largest refugee camp in the world which makes use of Belgian resources to launch education projects. On Friday, the minister participates in Kampala to the Solidarity Summit on Refugees under the chairmanship of the UN and the President of Uganda.
SOURCE Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Belgium