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NGOs Say Southern Sudan Needs More Than Just Money

In Oslo, donor countries met for a second day on how to assist southern Sudan, following January’s historic North-South peace accord. They've pledged about 4.5 billion dollars, with the United States pledging1,7 billion over the next two years. But that aid depends on Sudan's efforts to end the conflict in the western region of Darfur.

Monday, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said, “Successful post-conflict recovery requires immediate, tangible and well-planned investment for the long term.”

However, a coalition of aid groups is asking donors to provide more than just money in southern Sudan. Rebecca Dale is the regional advisor on Sudan for one of those groups, the International Rescue Committee. From Oslo, she spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua.

She says, “Our message was very strongly that there needs to be a very fine balance between the major humanitarian needs of Sudan, which are pressing right now, and the need to also be sure that donors hold the parties accountable for implementation of the peace and good governance and also on the Darfur issue. And furthermore that although it’s essential for donors to be coordinated, it’s also very important that civil society is adequately supported so that it can take up its role in being a watchdog in the current situation. And our third message was also that humanitarian space at the moment is really quite under threat for NGO’S that are operating, particularly in Darfur."

The coalition has some recommendations. Ms. Dale says, “One of our recommendations is really in the way donors see their role as part of trying to ensure that there’s a political solution and that they stay very diplomatically engaged. It’s not enough for them just to give money.”

The coalition of aid groups includes the International rescue Committee, CARE International, Christian Aid, Save the Children UK and Tearfund.