EU allocates €17 million for ongoing humanitarian needs ahead of upcoming referendum on South Sudan

EU Today, the European Commission approved an additional package of €17 million to support the preparation of essential humanitarian provisions in Darfur, the South and the Transitional Areas ahead of the referendum on the self determination of Southern Sudan, expected in January 2011. This new decision brings the Commission’s support for humanitarian aid in Sudan to a total of €131 million.

Commissioner Georgieva said: “The humanitarian needs in several parts of Sudan are considerable. We need to boost our response to avoid the looming breakdown in food assistance programmes. We also need to provide support to our partners so that they are prepared, thus preventing a further deterioration of the humanitarian situation threatened by violence which could surround the referendum of 2011.”

The additional funding is aimed mainly at supporting the major humanitarian pipelines for provisions such as food, non-food items, nutritional supplies, medical kits, seeds and tools, that need to be purchased so that they can be distributed on time to the people in need. The referenda on self determination for the South and the Abyei region due to take place in January 2011 may cause unrest and displacements among the population, so the humanitarian community is preparing itself for these scenarios.

Background

Sudan is the European Commission’s largest beneficiary country for humanitarian aid. With this new allocation, the budget for 2010 is €131 million, covering operations in Darfur, South Sudan and the Transitional Areas.

The humanitarian crisis in Sudan remains complex with persisting conflicts leading to large scale displacement of populations, high vulnerability to food insecurity, epidemic outbreaks and natural disasters, and lack of access to the most basic services such as healthcare or safe drinking water in many areas.

Commission-funded projects are implemented by non-governmental relief organisations, specialised UN agencies and the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement. DG ECHO closely follows developments in the humanitarian situation and plays an active role in the local coordination of relief efforts. It also monitors the use of the Commission’s relief funds. To that end, ECHO has offices in Khartoum, Nyala and Juba.

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