During a trip to Juba in South Sudan over the weekend, Development Minister Mogens Jensen announced 60 million kroner ($10.8 million) in additional aid to the war-torn country.
“I spoke with people in a UN tent that had fled their homes. I met with UN and Danish emergency help organisations and the message was the same: the situation is serious. We need action now. Therefore, we are increasing our support to South Sudan’s suffering people by 60 million kroner,” Jensen said in a press release.
International NGOs have been warning of the dangers of widespread famine in South Sudan, which has been struggling with ethnic fighting, for months. The UN Security Council in August called the food insecurity situation in South Sudan “the worst in the world”, warning that up to 50,000 children could die from hunger. The situation has been worsened by a cholera epidemic.
According to the Development Ministry, Jensen met with South Sudan’s foreign minister, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, and “strongly urged” the South Sudanese government to put an end to the violence in the country. The same message was delivered to rebel leader Riek Machar in a telephone conversation.
“I stressed to both of them that there is a need for political action that can stop the violence and thus prevent their own people from dying of hunger,” Jensen said.
Ten of the 60 million kroner from the Danish government will go to UNICEF, while the remaining 50 million will go to Danish NGOs working in South Sudan and assisting the roughly 500,000 South Sudanese who have fled to neighbouring Kenya, Uganda and Sudan.