Aid welcome - but millions are still on the brink of catastrophe
Christian Aid has welcomed the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) providing £200 million in emergency aid to South Sudan and Somalia.
The relief package will provide food, water and healthcare to some of the millions facing hunger and starvation.
It follows this week’s declaration of famine in parts of South Sudan, and comes as the situations in Nigeria and Yemen remain dire.
Christian Aid’s head of humanitarian aid Nick Guttmann said: “The International Development Secretary Priti Patel is right to say the world’s response to these unprecedented crises has been inadequate.
“Whether it’s Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia or Nigeria, the magnitude of suffering is unlike anything we’ve seen for a long time.
“Yet, for too long these humanitarian disasters have gone unnoticed, underreported and underfunded.
“That is why we are delighted that the UK government is sending a strong message to the world, that it’s high time we step up our support.
“If more funding comes quickly – including to local NGOs – and if agencies can get access to remote areas, then the spread of famine could be averted in South Sudan.
“However, hundreds of millions of pounds are still needed if we are to prevent further catastrophe. We can only hope that the international community does not ignore its duty – not only to fund the aid response, but also to stick with communities for the long-haul and help them address the root causes of the emergencies we are seeing today.”
Chair of Christian Aid the Rt Rev Dr Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, said: “The declaration of a state of famine in parts of South Sudan is yet another horrific blow to the hopes and security of the people of this war-ravaged country, already coping with huge levels of displacement as well as violence.
“The crisis in South Sudan is just one of a number of humanitarian catastrophes the world is facing. Millions more are on the edge of survival – in countries like Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria – and we must continue to do what we can to help our sisters and brothers in dire need.”
Christian Aid has launched an emergency appeal for South Sudan.