This week over 300 representatives from South Sudan, donor governments, regional organizations, international and national non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and United Nations agencies gathered in Oslo, Norway, for a high-level humanitarian conference on South Sudan.
Aid agencies sought a total of $1.8 billion USD this year for South Sudan to save lives and prevent a famine in the midst of violence that has ravaged the nation since December. At the conference, more than $600 million USD was pledged in new funding for the humanitarian crisis, but the message was clear: all of the money pledged will prove futile if parties to the conflict do not stop the fighting.
“It was heartening to see the generosity of so many donors here in Oslo, but the reality is that the $1.8 billion USD humanitarian appeal remains largely unmet,” says Madeline Rose, policy and advocacy advisor for Mercy Corps. “Current data trends show a famine hitting South Sudan as early as years’ end. Peace and unconditional aid access are critical or the loss of life could be horrific in scale.”
In a joint statement, Mercy Corps and other NGOs respond to conference outcomes and provide recommendations for improving access, resourcing and protection today.