If the funding situation doesn’t change, life-saving humanitarian operations have been reduced, suspended, or will be stopped altogether. According to recent estimates, US$400 million in urgently needed to provide the bare minimum of humanitarian services to meet people’s immediate needs.
Millions of the most vulnerable people will be at risk of losing access to crucial humanitarian aid and protection if these funding gaps are not closed.
“The humanitarian context in South Sudan is daunting and is the worst that it has ever been. Everything including protection of women and girls, food, nutrition, and shelter, is needed. There are over two million people displaced in South Sudan, and absence of funding means that those in camps risk to be left in critical need of water, sanitation and hygiene, and health services. The lack of safety and security will further deepen these risks. The resources have dwindled, but lives should not”, said Ms. Sara Beysolow Nyanti, Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan.
The South Sudanese people have experienced numerous crises for more than ten years. Years of conflict, social and political unrest, unprecedented climate shocks, ongoing violence, frequent evictions, the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects, food insecurity, and numerous disease outbreaks have all wreaked havoc on people’s lives.
In 2022, it is predicted that 8.9 million South Sudanese, or more than two-thirds of the population, will require significant humanitarian aid and protection. The Humanitarian Response Plan asks for US$1.7 billion to provide protection and life-saving assistance to 6.8 million people.
The South Sudan Humanitarian Fund and the Pooled Funds Central Emergency Response Fund each contributed nearly 14% of the plan’s funding, which is currently only at 27%.
“With such funding gaps, vulnerable suffer more and humanitarian partners are forced to prioritize, making heart-wrenching choices between severe needs. We cannot give up because the cost of inaction is too high, and people in need cannot afford to pay this price. We need urgent funds, and are appealing to the world to remember the most vulnerable in South Sudan”, stated Ms. Nyanti.
If urgent funding is not secured, severe consequences are likely across all humanitarian interventions in the nation. 127,000 children and 115,000 women who are pregnant or nursing will immediately lack access to crucial medical services due to a lack of funding for nutrition support.
Without additional funding, an estimated 1.9 million people will not have access to services for clean water, sanitary conditions, and hygiene. As a result, illnesses are likely to worsen, putting more strain on medical facilities and causing rising trends in malnutrition.
When seeking water and sanitation outside of their homes, women and girls run the risk of gender-based violence. Nearly two million people will experience disruptions in their ability to eat and earn a living. Without immediate funding, an estimated 900,000 people will not receive the 1.3 million protection services that are needed.
Lack of funding will prevent 700,000 young, vulnerable boys and girls from having access to safe learning environments and will lead to an increase in school dropouts, putting the education of 3.5 million children at risk. Eight camps for internally displaced people would be left unmanaged without additional funding.
220 primary health care units and nine state hospitals were directly impacted by the recent cut in funding for health interventions, and they run the risk of having to stop providing services starting in August. There will be a lack of access to healthcare for 2.5 million people who already have precarious health conditions.