The Irish aid agency Trócaire has announced £2 million in extra funding has been approved by the UK government to help a vital life-changing programme in South Sudan.
The government had pledged to match public donations in Northern Ireland to Trócaire’s Lenten Appeal earlier this year up to a maximum of £2 million.
The appeal, which ran from February to May, highlighted the challenges faced by people in South Sudan who have had to flee their homes because of years of conflict.
Siobhan Hanley, Trócaire’s Head of Region in Northern Ireland, said the result was amazing. She also added that “We are absolutely overjoyed to get this news. Once again we asked the people of Northern Ireland to stand in solidarity with those in the developing world and, despite everything going on here in relation to Covid-19, the public stepped up to the plate.
The government would only match public donations and so this result is purely down to those individuals, parishioners, clergy and school communities that supported the appeal.
To achieve the maximum amount of matched funds is incredible. The appeal has actually raised £4,988,000 to date including £2,000,000 of match funding from the UK government. These donations are vital for funding for our work all over the world in some of the world’s poorest countries.
The extra £2 million we will receive from the government will be used specifically in South Sudan where thousands of people don’t have access to enough food because of decades of conflict and displacement compounded by climate change and gender based violence.
This funding will allow for supply of food and water, empower women, facilitate access to cultivated land and provide suitable crops and training on sustainable farming practices. It will further help families to become self-sufficient without having to rely on aid.
Alternatively, other developing partners and the South Sudan Humanitarian Fund (SSHF) that was established in 2012 have continued to offer support to the young nation of South Sudan.
After the country gained independence. Since the onset of the current crisis in late 2013, humanitarian needs have continued to spread and deepen. Some four million people have been uprooted, including around 1.9 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), of which an estimated 85 per cent are women and children.
In response, the SSHF has played a pivotal role in addressing the most critical humanitarian needs across the country in a strategic, coordinated and strictly prioritised manner through the timely allocation and disbursement of some US $385 million.
Donor contributions from other countries and the United Nations have positioned the SSHF as the fourth largest source of funding to the annual Humanitarian Response Plan, reaching around 1.6 million affected people each year through multi-sectoral assistance.
Funds are channeled to where they are most needed according to the most time-critical priorities within the Humanitarian Response Plan, as agreed by the humanitarian community. Funds are made available for rapid response to meet urgent or unforeseen needs, and to bolster core pipelines of emergency supplies and other common services at critical moments in the humanitarian response.
Almost 70% of South Sudan’s population is in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. Thousands of people are living in famine-like conditions, and undernutrition is at critical levels. There are over 2 million South Sudanese refugees in neighbouring countries. The EU is a long-standing donor of humanitarian aid in the country and continues to support humanitarian projects helping South Sudanese refugees in the region.
In February 2020, South Sudan formed a transitional government of national unity to leave 6 years of civil war behind. However, progress in the implementation of the peace agreement has been slow.
A spike in violence caused over 2,400 civilian deaths in 2020, more than double the previous year. Conflict, insecurity and natural hazards have displaced nearly 4 million people since 2013, with many forced to flee multiple times. An estimated 1.6 million people are internally displaced, while an additional 2.2 million are refugees in neighbouring countries.
Over the past few months, vulnerable communities have suffered the effects of conflict, major flooding, and COVID-19. As a result, some 8.3 million people require humanitarian assistance in 2021 800,000 more than last year.
Due to such unfavorable situations unfolding in real time, the Trócaire funding is a huge boost to the Humanitarian crisis in South Sudan.
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