Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Questions (39)

Sandra McLellan


39. Deputy Sandra McLellan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will provide further details on his Department’s recent pledge of €2 million in emergency assistance for Sudan and South Sudan; the person who will receive the funding; and the way it will be spent. [41165/13]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

In July, I announced €2 million in funding to provide access to life-saving food, shelter, basic health care and water for very vulnerable conflict-affected communities in Sudan and South Sudan. Some 8.5 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance in both countries. Ongoing conflict has forced people to flee their homes and has denied them access to essential services, particularly in border areas between Sudan and South Sudan. This funding was channelled through the United Nations Common Humanitarian Funds (CHFs) for Sudan and South Sudan. Common Humanitarian Funds are country-based pooled funding mechanisms which provide early and predictable funding to NGOs and UN agencies in order to respond to critical humanitarian needs. CHFs enable Humanitarian Country Teams on the ground to swiftly allocate resources where they are most needed, and to fund priority life-saving projects as identified in a Consolidated Appeal Process or a similar humanitarian action plan. The Common Humanitarian Funds in Sudan and South Sudan have enabled UN agencies and NGOs to contribute to a timely and effective humanitarian response as well as to promote and facilitate durable solutions for affected populations.

In Sudan, the majority of the most vulnerable populations are in Darfur, where approximately 3.5 million people currently receive food aid, including some 1.4 million sheltered in camps for internally displaced persons. In South Kordofan and Blue Nile States, the United Nations estimates that there are currently over 300,000 people displaced or severely affected by the conflict. Already in 2013, the Common Humanitarian Fund has disbursed over $60 million to UN agencies and NGOs to provide basic services in the areas of shelter, water and sanitation, nutrition and education to these populations. Ireland’s donation to the Sudan Common Humanitarian Fund in July has brought our total contribution for 2013 to €2,500,000. Our funding is saving lives every day.

In South Sudan, violence-related incidents continue to drive humanitarian needs in 2013. Conflict intensified in Jonglei State and the tri-state areas of Lakes, Unity and Warrap. In Unity and Upper Nile States, new arrivals have pushed the number of refugees to over 190,000 and humanitarian organisations have had to establish new refugee camps in these two states. The South Sudan Common Humanitarian Fund has allocated some US$90 million towards access to food, health, nutrition, water and sanitation, education and protection in highly vulnerable areas. In addition, the Fund has proven to be an invaluable mechanism for pre-positioning of emergency relief ahead of the rainy season. Ireland’s donation in July brought our total contribution for 2013 to €2,500,000 and is largely funding provision of emergency food assistance to conflict-affected populations.