Aid agencies plead with UK to cancel budget cuts for South Sudan

Over 85 international and national NGOs have signed a petition calling on the UK government to reconsider its decision to cut 59% of South Sudan’s life-saving humanitarian aid.

“International and National Non-governmental Organizations working in South Sudan call on the UK Government to reconsider urgently the reported 59% budget cuts to vital international aid,” the group said in joint statement seen by Thessherald.

Noting that, “South Sudan is at a pivotal point, based on the recent Integrated Food Security Phase Classification of “Famine Likely” and “Catastrophic” food insecurity at a number of locations across the country, with over 60% of the population projected to face crisis or worse levels of food insecurity.”

“Humanitarian assistance is one of the only factors keeping thousands of people from succumbing to the worst outcomes: malnutrition and death.
Severe humanitarian needs across the country have significantly worsened due to a combination of flooding, displacement, and protracted sub-national violence.”

The sustained support of the international community is critical. As humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding organisations working to support the people of South Sudan coming out of a painful civil war, we call on the UK Government to ensure South Sudan remains a funding priority.
The UK has long played an important role in bolstering South Sudan’s progress with humanitarian support.

The aid agencies warned that the projected budget cuts for South Sudan will certainly cost lives and put millions on the brink of starvation.

“There is no doubt that the anticipated cuts will cost lives, and undermine significant, long-term progress made with UK funding to date – from saving lives with access to food and safe water, to reducing violence through support for locally-led peacebuilding, and interventions to reduce gender-based violence.”

“It is vital that the UK continues to invest in both humanitarian response and longer-term action that builds resilience and integrates Disaster Risk Reduction in the country. There needs to be continued support for conflict prevention and peacebuilding – as an end in itself but also, as UK Special Envoy for Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Affairs Nick Dyer has rightly pointed out, because conflict remains closely linked with food insecurity. After years of engagement and investment, for the UK to step back now would constitute a crushing blow to the people of South Sudan.”