EU EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, welcomes today’s decision of the EU foreign affairs ministers to allocate €200 million to South Sudan. This follows the proposal of the European Commission, announced by EU Commissioner Piebalgs during his visit in Juba on 13 May 2011. These funds will support the implementation of the Government of South Sudan’s forthcoming “2011-13 Development Plan”. They could be used for projects related to education, health, agriculture, food security and democratic governance. South Sudan will formally declare its independence on 9 July 2011, as a result of the referendum held in January 2011, part of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
“My visit to Sudan earlier this month confirmed that the independence of South Sudan is raising high expectations among the population. Today, the EU sends a strong signal ensuring that it will stand by the new country to help a peaceful and sustainable transition.” EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, said. “Today, the EU also confirmed that it will maintain an equitable approach vis-à-vis the North and the South of Sudan in its support to sustainable and inclusive development”.
Decades of civil war have left South Sudan extremely poor, with numerous humanitarian and socio-economic challenges to cope with in the context of limited governance capacity and political fragility.
Southern Sudan has the highest infant-mortality rates and the lowest education indicators in the world. One child in ten still dies before its first birthday and less than 1 percent of girls complete primary education
The specific actions to be funded will be identified in the context of the Government of South Sudan’s “2011-13 Development Plan”, expected to be presented to the international donors later this year.
EU joint programming of aid
Work on joint programming between the EU and Member States has already begun, in close cooperation with local authorities and key stakeholders on the ground. A donor pledging conference for South Sudan is expected to take place in the coming months where the EU will be able to present the broad lines of its intended support to South Sudan.
In July 2010, the European Union allocated €150 million to the whole of Sudan to address the needs of the most vulnerable populations. Of this sum, €85 million were earmarked for South Sudan. However, it is now recognised that more is needed in order to tackle the immense needs of helping to rebuild the state institutions, as well as meeting the development needs of the majority of the South Sudanese population.
South Sudan took part in a self-determination referendum in January this year. Voters opted overwhelming – over 98 percent – for South Sudan to become a separate country.
The situation in large areas of South Sudan and the border regions with North Sudan remains complex, with persistent violent conflicts and frequent incidents of serious fighting. This leads to the large scale displacement of the population, as well as leaving people vulnerable to food insecurity, outbreaks of diseases and natural disasters, and unable to access to the most basic services such as healthcare or safe drinking water in many areas.
The EU has a continued political and financial engagement in Sudan, including through development and humanitarian assistance, for the benefit of the Sudanese population. Since 2005 the EU has committed development assistance of over €665 million to Sudan with more than 45% dedicated to South Sudan. This assistance is addressing post-conflict recovery, rehabilitation and development activities. However, the Government of Sudan decided not to ratify the revised Cotonou Agreement, thereby losing access to the 10th European Development Fund (EDF); which envisaged a total allocation of EUR 294.9 million.
Sudan is the EU’s largest beneficiary country for humanitarian aid, with €131 million from the 2010 EU budget. This aid is additional to development aid and covers operations in Darfur, South Sudan and the Transitional Areas.
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