€5 million in extra aid for South Sudan

The Netherlands is contributing an extra €5 million in relief assistance for victims of the food crisis in South Sudan, Minister Lilianne Ploumen of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation has announced.

Ploumen said in Brussels on Monday that the Netherlands is freezing part of financial aid programs in African nation, but the support for residents continues. She said she was shocked by the stance of the Government and the rebels, who seem to care little about the fate of the people. “The Government of South Sudan has money for waging war, but at the same time it is sitting by idly while its residents are suffering,” she said. She also made her standpoint clear during a recent meeting with a delegation of the South Sudan Government.

She said a program that would be carried out with the South Sudan Ministry of Water and Irrigation is parked and there will be no new funding for training of diplomats from South Sudan at the Clingendael institute. These measures are supposed to give a clear message to the government.

The money that is going to South Sudan will be used for crisis relief. €3 million is for the special VN relief fund that brings necessary supplies to where they need to be as soon as possible; predictions are that the looming rainy season will render roads to certain areas unusable.

“Apart from the dramatic situation in the country attention should also be paid to the 300,000 South Sudanese people who fled to neighboring countries and are in dire need of help,” Ploumen said. She said the remaining €2 million in relief assistance is therefore earmarked for the UN refugee organization UNHCR to be used for shelter and support of refugees in the Ganbela region in Ethiopia.

This €5 million comes on top of a previous €5 million that the Netherlands had sent to South Sudan and other relief funds from other organizations.