In light of the serious humanitarian situation which is still affecting large parts of the Sudan and South Sudan, Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has decided to increase humanitarian aid to the two countries by 5 million euros. Ongoing armed conflicts are making the emergency particularly acute in the Sudan’s border states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile as well as in regions along the South Sudanese side of the border. According to reports from the United Nations, at least 500,000 people are without supplies in the disputed areas and around 170,000 have fled into South Sudan.
The Government of the Sudan is currently in negotiations with the African Union, the Arab League and the United Nations seeking to improve humanitarian access to the region. Speaking in Berlin today (4 July), Foreign Minister Westerwelle issued the following statement on the talks:
“I welcome the Sudanese Government’s willingness to improve humanitarian access to the disputed states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile; the plight of the people there, cut off for months from international aid, is alarming.
It is clear, however, that the outcomes achieved so far are only the beginning of what is needed. I call on the Government of the Sudan to make what it has pledged a reality now and swiftly enable access for independent aid organizations.”
The Federal Foreign Office has now provided a total of 12 million euros for humanitarian aid measures in the Sudan and South Sudan in 2012. The funds go to national and international relief agencies which are governed by the principles of independent, unpartisan assistance. The Foreign Office also supports the coordinating role assumed by the United Nations.