More cash needed as famine looms in South Sudan

28 August, Juba — One hundred days after an international donor conference was held to raise money to bring aid to South Sudan, the country urgently requires still more cash as it hovers on the brink of famine.

More than 20 countries plus the European Union pledged more than $600 million at the conference in Oslo, Norway, on May 20.

Almost 80% of the $600 million pledged in May have been committed. 

According to information reported to the Financial Tracking Service of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, almost 80 percent of the pledges have been committed. Australia, Austria, Denmark, Ireland and Germany have committed 100 percent of the money pledged at the conference. Countries that have each committed more than 95 percent of the money they pledged include Estonia, Finland, the Netherlands and Spain.[1] The biggest donors—the United States and the United Kingdom—are close to fulfilling their Oslo obligations.[2]

But even if the outstanding Oslo pledges are committed right away, it will still fall hundreds of millions of dollars short of the remaining $860 million required to fully fund the Republic of South Sudan Crisis Response Plan until the end of the year.[3] So far, only about 50 percent of the money has been found to fund the plan put together by the United Nations and non-government organizations. [4] 

World Vision’s program director for South Sudan, Perry Mansfield, who attended the Oslo conference,  says while it’s heartening to see countries honouring their pledges, it’s vital that the world wakes up to the enormity of the need.

“Famine is looming in South Sudan. Tens of thousands of children are at risk of dying from malnutrition. These children cannot wait. Do we have to wait to see pictures of emaciated, starving children before the world will wake up, step up and act.”

The United Nations Security Council has called the situation in South Sudan the worst food crisis in the world.[5] More than 3.5 million people are facing food insecurity.[6] UNICEF estimates that 50,000 children could die from malnutrition by the end of the year if immediate measures are not taken.[7]

A 100 percent commitment of the outstanding pledges made at Oslo could fully fund the unmet financial requirements for the nutrition, health, water, sanitation and hygiene needs of the United Nations and NGOs’  response plan for South Sudan.[8]

So far this year, World Vision has assisted more than 360,000 people in South Sudan with emergency food aid, clean water and essential supplies. The aid includes running supplementary feeding programmes for hungry children.

For more information contact: Abraham Nhial, World Vision communications manager for South Sudan. Email: nhial_wei@wvi.org ; Skype: nhialwei ; mobile:+211 929 167 028 


[1] http://fts.unocha.org/reports/daily/ocha_Roriginalpledge_E16419-16507_asof___1408221158.pdf

[2] http://fts.unocha.org/reports/daily/ocha_Roriginalpledge_E16419-16507_asof___1408221158.pdf

[3] http://fts.unocha.org/reports/daily/ocha_R32sum_A1024___27_August_2014_(03_04).pdf

[4] http://fts.unocha.org/

[5] Security Council Press Statement on Humanitarian Situation in South Sudan, 25 July 2014 http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2014/sc11493.doc.htm

[6] IPC Projected Acute Food Insecurity Overview in South Sudan June-August 2014. 

[7] UNICEF South Sudan Humanitarian Situation Report #33, Reporting Period 23 - 29 July 2014

[8] http://fts.unocha.org/reports/daily/ocha_R32sum_A1024___22_August_2014_(11_58).pdf