The Executive Secretary of IGAD, Amb. (Eng.) Mahboub Maalim together with UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, and UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation, Forest Whitaker, attended a joint IGAD-UN OCHA organized High Level meeting on 09 February in Nairobi. The meeting was co-chaired by IGAD and OCHA.
Warning that without peace, extreme human suffering would persist in South Sudan, they called on all parties to stop the violence, reconcile their differences and commit themselves to peace. At the conference, US$618 million was pledged, $529 million of it new money, to support the humanitarian response in South Sudan. Currently an estimated 2.5 million people urgently need food, with thousands of children suffering from malnutrition. Massive displacement continues; around 2 million people have fled their homes, half of whom are children with almost 500,000of these having fled to neighboring countries.
The funding pledged on Monday will enable aid organizations to take advantage of road and river access to reach more people in the most cost-effective way, and pre-position supplies to enable delivery of aid in the rainy season when roads become impassable. The South Sudan response plan requires US$1.8 billion in 2015. An additional US$809 million is required to the needs of South Sudan refugees and host communities and countries in the region.
Donors at the High Level meeting paid tribute to IGAD’s role in the South Sudan peace –process and humanitarian efforts.