12 April 2012
The UK Government must continue to focus its efforts on humanitarian assistance in South Sudan, says Tearfund, in response to a new report from the International Development Select Committee that looks at the new country’s prospects for peace and development.
'The government must fund humanitarian needs in South Sudan, alongside development,' says Laura Taylor, Head of Policy at Tearfund. 'The scale of support required remains significant due to poor harvests, rising food prices, internal insecurity and displacement. These needs look set to continue for many years, and so although there is rightly a desire to move towards development, humanitarian efforts should not slow down as a result.
'We are pleased that the Committee’s report sounds an alarm about the mounting humanitarian crisis and this must be DFID’s clear focus, along with investment in health, education and infrastructure. These are problems that we have witnessed communities struggling with first hand through our programmes and the work of our local church partner agencies in South Sudan.
'DFID must also retain flexibility to support emergency water, sanitation and health interventions for displaced people as they return,' adds Laura.
Since October 2010 over 372,000 people have returned to South Sudan but this continues to put strain on scarce resources.
Tearfund stresses the need for DFID to help build the capacity of government structures at state, county and district levels, where the responsibility for provision of basic services is mostly held. Tearfund also welcomes the acknowledgement of the church which is able to play a valuable interim role in meeting the needs of many vulnerable people whilst government capacity is developed.
Notes to editors:
Tearfund provided evidence to the International and Development Committee when it began its enquiry last September into the effectiveness of UK aid in South Sudan.
DFID is expected to spend around £360 million in South Sudan (2011-15) making it one of the largest recipients of UK bilateral aid.
Tearfund has been working in South Sudan for over 40 years supporting the long-term development projects of local partner agencies (including HIV and education). Tearfund’s direct relief operations in South Sudan include projects to improve water and sanitation, nutrition, household food security and the provision of basic health services.
For further information contact Jonathan Spencer on 020 8943 7901 - out of hours call 07710 573749 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tearfund is a Christian relief and development agency building a global network of local churches to help eradicate poverty. Tearfund is a member of the Disasters Emergency Committee.
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