Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Lynne Featherstone: New British Aid Package For South Sudan

Liberal Democrat International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone will today announce a new British aid package for South Sudan.

Speaking at a conference hosted by the Norwegian government in Oslo, Lynne will say that the new £60m package will help hundreds of thousands of people affected by the conflict.

Lynne will say:

"The situation in South Sudan is deeply saddening. In just three years the hope that filled the country during independence has given way to violence and one of the world's worst humanitarian crises.

"We will not look the other way while innocent people go through unimaginable suffering. Britain is already leading the international response to this crisis and the extra support announced today will give hundreds of thousands of people the food, water and medicine they need to survive.

"But, above all, responsibility for the well-being of the people of South Sudan sits with the leaders of South Sudan. The Government and Opposition need to take steps to speed up the delivery of aid. Clearance through customs for humanitarian goods should take a few days, not almost a month."

Since fighting broke out in South Sudan in December 2013 the situation has quickly escalated into one of the world's worst humanitarian crises. More than 1m people have been forced from their homes, 10,000 women and girls are at risk of rape and there is evidence of child soldiers being recruited.

Britain's new £60 million package of support for South Sudan includes £16.5m to help the World Food Programme feed over 100,000 people and £5 million for the Red Cross to provide life-saving assistance and treat the war-wounded.