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JUBA - 17 Nov 2013

Aid organizations want over a billion for South Sudan

The aid organizations in  South Sudan are requesting 1.1 billion dollar for humanitarian action in 2014-2016. More than 100 aid organizations want to help 3.1 million people. That says Toby Lanzer is the UN development and humanitarian coordinator in South Sudan: “Our appeal has three objectives: to respond to immediate life-saving needs; to build communities’ resilience and to strengthen national systems for delivering basic services.

He adds that caring for citizens people in need is ultimately the role of state institutions. The yearly appeal estimates that half of South Sudan’s population – about 6 million people – live below the national poverty threshold of about 15 USD per month. Lanzer: “For these people, it takes little to tip into destitution. An unexpected crop pest, loss of cattle, or the illness of a family member can topple a household’s ability to provide for itself”.

The UN coordinator says that despite the fact South Sudan has enormous agricultural potential and the highest number of livestock per capita in sub-Saharan Africa, only 4 percent of arable land is cultivated. The commercial use of cattle is much lower than in neighboring countries.

“Our approach involves oxen and ploughs rather than tractors and expensive mechanized equipment. Simple, tried and tested methods will have the greatest impact΅. The aid organizations received in 2013 until end of October,  only $755 million, covering 70 per cent of identified needs a year ago.

File photo: The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, Toby Lanzer