Australia on track to meet South Sudan aid funding target

East Africa, Emergencies, General, Humanitarian Advocacy, Media Releases, News article written on the 21 May 2014

Oxfam has welcomed the Australian Government’s pledge of $2.6 million to help address the triple threat of conflict, hunger and preventable disease facing the people of South Sudan, with Australia now on target to meet its fair share of international contributions.

Australia is tracking well to meet its fair share contribution by the end of 2014, having contributed just over 50 percent of its fair share to the UN’s Crisis Response Plan for South Sudan.

If conflict continues in South Sudan, it is projected that by that time, 4 million people will go hungry, 1.5 million people will have been forced from their homes by insecurity or hunger, and a further 850,000 will have sought refuge in neighbouring countries including Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan and Kenya.

Humanitarian Advocacy Coordinator Ben Murphy said the additional funding, pledged at the Oslo donor conference on Tuesday, brought Australia’s contribution to $13.4million since January, half of the $25.9 million required for Australia to meet its humanitarian responsibilities in the face of this shocking crisis.

“This sustained commitment to one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises is welcome, but with the UN appeal needs for South Sudan recently revised up to $1.94 billion, the funding gap remains vast and the situation risks deteriorating further,” Mr Murphy said.

“Continued support from Australia remains critical. Oxfam urges Australia to follow up with a further $13 million before the end of this year in order to meet its fair share of the total funding needs.”

With a confirmed outbreak of cholera in Juba and the nation on the cusp of a catastrophic food crisis, the fast delivery of these funds to South Sudan is paramount.
To prevent the crisis from escalating further, Australia must follow up on its commitments to date with additional contributions as soon as possible.

“Humanitarian organisations stand ready to deliver the urgently needed life-saving support. However, today’s financial contributions need to be accompanied by a redoubling of efforts to persuade South Sudan’s leaders to reach a lasting peaceful solution to their differences and allow safe passage of aid to all areas in need.”

Through its role on the UN Security Council Australia can make a valuable contribution to protecting the people of South Sudan through the upcoming renewal of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) mandate. This process provides a critical opportunity to push for an increased emphasis on protecting civilians against threats of violence, and providing greater resourcing for UNMISS.

Notes to editors:
Oxfam has conducted a fair share analysis for the crisis, which calculates the fair share contributions of high income donor countries based on relative Gross National Income. Australia’s fair share, based on the revised South Sudan Crisis Response plan is calculated at $25.9million for 2014. Australia has contributed approximately 51% of this total figure.

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