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Ireland donates €1.5 million to South Sudan famine prevention fund

Seán Sherlock condemned the killing of aid personnel as they provided humanitarian relief to those impacted by the ongoing violence.

Photo dated July 24, 2014: People trudge along the main passageway through the UN's Malakal Camp for Internally Displaced People during the wet season.
Photo dated July 24, 2014: People trudge along the main passageway through the UN's Malakal Camp for Internally Displaced People during the wet season.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

DEVELOPMENT MINISTER SEÁN Sherlock has announced the allocation of €1.5 million to the UN Common Humanitarian Fund for South Sudan to fight the threat of famine in the world’s youngest country.

Sherlock said he is “gravely concerned by the deteriorating humanitarian situation” in South Sudan:

Eight months into the current crisis nearly 2 million people have been displaced from their homes. Hunger and malnutrition are on the rise with almost 4 million people facing food insecurity.

The latest allocation brings Ireland’s contribution to the UN fund to €6.5 million to date.

The junior minister said this money would go towards providing food, clean water, healthcare, shelter, sanitation, hygiene and protection for those affected by the crisis in South Sudan.

Sherlock also expressed condolences on behalf of the Irish people to the families, friends and colleagues of the six South Sudanese aid workers killed this week:

Ireland condemns in the strongest possible terms attacks on humanitarian personnel as they seek to deliver lifesaving assistance to the most vulnerable populations and calls for unhindered access to affected areas where they carry out their vital work.

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan accused a militia group of killing the civilian aid workers based on their ethnicity.

Peacekeepers have been sent to protect UN staff, aid workers and civilians in the area where the aid workers were killed in Upper Nile State.

‘Overwhelming’

During a UN Security Council briefing on the situation in South Sudan, Assistant Secretary-General for UN Peacekeeping Operations Edmond Mulet warned that the country is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe.

Despite the scale of the humanitarian effort inside South Sudan, funding for these operations is falling “far short in the face of overwhelming needs”.

Mulet said that this is “a man-made crisis and those responsible for it have been far too slow in resolving it” and “continue to believe they can achieve more through the pursuit of a military option”.

Medécins Sans Frontieres said that the ongoing conflict in South Sudan is having “disastrous consequences for the country’s people”. Emergency MSF medical teams are operating in the capital Juba, Awerial in Lakes State and Malakal in Upper Nile State to treat the wounded and to provide medical support to people internally displaced by the fighting.

MSF ops South Sudan MSF's map of its emergency response operations amid the violence in South Sudan. Source: MSF

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