Life-saving humanitarian operations have been either suspended, reduced, or will be terminated if the funding situation remains as it is. Current estimates indicate that US$400 million dollars are urgently required to provide minimum humanitarian services to alleviate people’s immediate needs.
If not addressed, these funding gaps will leave millions of the most vulnerable people at risk of losing access to vital humanitarian assistance and protection. “The humanitarian context in South Sudan is daunting and is the worst that it has ever been. Everything including protection of women and girls, food, nutrition, and shelter, is needed. There are over two million people displaced in South Sudan, and absence of funding means that those in camps risk to be left in critical need of water, sanitation and hygiene, and health services. The lack of safety and security will further deepen these risks. The resources have dwindled, but lives should not”, said Ms. Sara Beysolow Nyanti, Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan.
For over a decade, the people of South Sudan faced multiple crises. People’s lives have been shattered by years of conflict, social and political instability, unprecedented climate shocks, ongoing violence, frequent displacements, the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity and multiple disease outbreaks.
In South Sudan, some 8.9 million people, more than two-thirds of the population, are estimated to need significant humanitarian assistance and protection in 2022. The Humanitarian Response Plan requests US$1.7 billion to target 6.8 million people with life-saving assistance and protection services. Currently, the humanitarian response plan is funded only at 27 per cent, almost 14 per cent of which was funded by the OCHA-managed Pooled Funds Central Emergency Response Fund and South Sudan Humanitarian Fund. “With such funding gaps, vulnerable suffer more and humanitarian partners are forced to prioritize, making heart-wrenching choices between severe needs. We cannot give up because the cost of inaction is too high, and people in need cannot afford to pay this price. We need urgent funds, and are appealing to the world to remember the most vulnerable in South Sudan”, stated Ms. Nyanti.
The funding gaps are across all humanitarian interventions in the country and severe consequences are likely if urgent financing is not secured. The lack of funding for nutrition support will immediately leave 127,000 children, and 115,000 pregnant or lactating women without vital treatment services. An estimated 1.9 million people will not have access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene services without more funds. As a consequence, illness is likely to rise placing an increased burden on health facilities and drive rising trends of malnutrition. Women and girls risk gender-based violence when attempting to seek water and access to sanitation outside their homes. Food security and livelihoods interruptions will affect almost two million people. Without urgent funding, 1.3 million protection services for an estimated 900,000 people will not be provided. In education, the lack of funding will result in 700,000 vulnerable boys and girls with no access to safe learning spaces and will increase school dropouts, risking 3.5 million children being out of school. Without further funding, eight camps for internally displaced people be left unmanaged. The recent reduction in funding for health interventions directly impacted 220 primary health care units and nine state hospitals, and they risk being forced to discontinue services from August. 2.5 million people who are already in vulnerable health conditions will not have access to health services.