Press release

UK increases support for humanitarian crisis in South Sudan

Britain will provide life-saving support for thousands more people affected by the conflict in South Sudan, International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced today.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Photograph of a South Sudanese refugee

More than 450,000 South Sudanese people have had to flee their country. Picture: P Wiggers/UNHCR

The new package of £25 million, which will be discussed at a UN General Assembly meeting today, will provide more food and protection for those vulnerable to sexual and gender based violence.

Since fighting broke out in December 2013, 1.3 million South Sudanese have been internally displaced and more than 450,000 have fled to neighbouring countries. Millions of people are at risk of disease and starvation as the violence has prevented people planting their crops, and aid agencies have warned there is a serious risk of famine.

The latest assistance from the Department for International Development will help the work of UN, Red Cross and NGO partners.

Justine Greening said:

The situation in South Sudan continues to deteriorate and the country is at risk of famine. The extra support from the UK will help meet the needs of thousands of people, forced from their homes, seeking food and protection from the violence.

South Sudan’s leaders need to take ultimate responsibility for the terrible humanitarian situation. The government and opposition must act now to stop the fighting, start to build a lasting peace and make every effort to allow aid to quickly reach their people.

The need for basic life-saving services remains crucial and we urge the international community to join us in stepping up support.

Many of the displaced people who have fled their homes in South Sudan are children who have been separated from the rest of their families and women who have endured sexual violence. The support pledged today will look at scaling up the protection for women and children.

The new funding brings the UK’s total support for people in South Sudan and refugees from the country since the start of the crisis to £150 million.

Notes to editors

  1. Since December 2013, UK support has: * provided more than 160,000 people with food, and is providing more than 400,000 people with emergency food/livelihoods support; * provided more than 170,000 people with clean water, and improved hygiene and sanitation for 180,000; * provided primary healthcare for more than 80,000 people; and * provided more than 40,000 people with protection interventions.

  2. DFID’s development programmes are also contributing where possible to the response – for example the Health Pooled Fund is playing an important role in some conflict areas, and in supporting the cholera response in non-conflict areas.

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Published 25 September 2014