By Judith Ugwumadu | 3 September 2014
The UK’s Department for International Development has pledged a further £30m to help the hundreds of thousands of people fleeing the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan.
International development minister Lynne Featherstone said the money will also be used to fight the impending risk of famine, and enable United Nations agencies UNICEF, the World Food Programme and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to help refugees in Ethiopia, Uganda Sudan and Kenya.
Since December last year, some 1.3 million people in the landlocked northeastern Africa country have become internally displaced and more than 400,000 have fled to neighbouring countries as a result of an internal conflict.
‘The people of South Sudan face a horrific humanitarian crisis which will only get worse with famine,’ Featherstone said.
‘The extra support from the UK government will deliver supplies urgently needed by people who have been forced to leave their homes and move to neighbouring countries.’
Echoing a speech made by US national security advisor Susan Rice over a fortnight ago, Featherstone reemphasised that the ultimate responsibility for the humanitarian situation lay with South Sudan’s leaders.
‘The Sudanese government and opposition must act now to stop the fighting, start to build a lasting peace and make every effort to allow aid to reach the people who need it,’ Featherstone added.
Rice said at the time said that people were suffering because of the inability of politicians in the country to put their people’s interests above their own. The US also pledged $180m in emergency humanitarian aid to tackle the food crisis in South Sudan.
In May, the international community committed to continue to help meet urgent humanitarian needs in the country, with the four biggest donors, including Norway, the UK, US and European Union pledging over $600m.