One of the world’s most serious humanitarian crises is continuing to unfold in South Sudan. Armed conflict broke out in the country in December 2013, and there are still daily clashes between government and opposition forces. According to UN estimates, 7.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. Around half of these are in urgent need of food.
"It is the South Sudanese people who are paying the price for the conflict in the country. Sexual violence, abuse and other violations of human rights are widespread. The humanitarian crisis we are now witnessing is largely man-made. Norway consistently highlights this in our talks with the South Sudanese parties," said Mr. Brende.
Mr. Brende stressed once again that the responsibility for bringing an end to the conflict lies with the South Sudanese Government and the parties to the conflict.
"The hostilities must cease if we are to be able to deliver emergency relief to all those in need of protection, food, drinking water, medical help and shelter. The rainy season will set in in a few months’ time. We must act now to get help through, while the roads are still dry and passable," Mr. Brende said.
More than 3.4 million people have fled their homes. Of these, 1.5 million have fled to neighbouring countries. In addition to helping the population in South Sudan, Norway will also provide support to South Sudanese refugees in neighbouring countries. Every week, thousands of South Sudanese flee across the border to Uganda, which has received a total of 700,000 refugees. Most of the refugees are women and children.
The support provided by Norway will go primarily to efforts to improve food security, protection and education, and will be channelled through experienced humanitarian organisations: the UN, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and a number of Norwegian NGOs.
Norway has been one of the largest donors of humanitarian aid to South Sudan for several years, and in 2016 provided more than NOK 590 million in humanitarian support to the country.