South Sudan, 18 August 2014: UNICEF: Responding to dire emergency, the European Commission adds €5 million toward scale up for children
– As the crisis in South Sudan deepens, the European Commission, through its Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection department (ECHO), has announced an additional grant to UNICEF of €5 million, bringing its total donation for 2014 to €9.5 million. UNICEF welcomed this latest contribution, which will provide lifesaving support for the hundreds of thousands of children who have been affected by the conflict in the country.
“The European Commission’s generous donation to the children of South Sudan who are caught in a tangle of violence and deprivation shows true commitment,” said Jonathan Veitch, UNICEF South Sudan Representative. “This funding will allow UNICEF to deliver critical support to the vulnerable children who had to flee their homes and communities, and who are living in increasingly desperate circumstances.”
The ECHO support of UNICEF will help expand the agency’s response to the dramatic nutrition crisis in South Sudan, where, as a result of the current conflict, estimates of the number of children who will suffer from severe acute malnutrition in 2014 more than doubled, from 108,000 to 235,000. Nearly one million children under the age of five are facing food insecurity.
The 2014 contribution will also help reunite children who have become separated during the conflict from their families and caregivers. So far, UNICEF and its partners have registered some 5,000 separated and unaccompanied children.
In addition, the ECHO support will provide vaccines and improve access to water and sanitation as well as promote good practices that are critical to children’s health and wellbeing. Other programmes will address the psychosocial needs of the many children who are trying to cope with their displacement and violence, as well as promote peacebuilding and mediation.
"Children and women continue to bear the highest burden of the crisis in South Sudan. ECHO supports UNICEF to continue saving the lives of the most vulnerable, especially children under five suffering from severe acute malnutrition and at risk of dying from preventable diseases. ECHO will continue working with UNICEF to avoid a lost generation in South Sudan," said Laetitia Beuscher, ECHO expert in South Sudan.
Since 1992 ECHO has partnered with UNICEF to reach emergency affected populations with much needed aid. During the course of 2012 and 2013, UNICEF in South Sudan received €5 million in emergency assistance from ECHO, which, together with funds from other donors, was used to reach over 900,000 people.
For more information about UNICEF South Sudan and its work visit: http://www.unicef.org/
About the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO)
ECHO funds relief operations for victims of natural disasters and conflicts outside the European Union. Aid is channeled impartially, straight to victims, regardless of their race, ethnic group, religion, gender, age, nationality or political affiliation. ECHO is among UNICEF’s largest humanitarian donors.
For more information about ECHO: http://ec.europa.eu/echo/en
For more information, please contact:
Kate Donovan, UNICEF South Sudan, Tel: +211 955252095 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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