By Julius N. Uma
July 27, 2012 (JUBA) - The United Nations Humanitarian Fund has allocated more than US$20m to address urgent needs of Sudanese refugees fleeing into South Sudan from the conflict in the north Sudanese states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, Valerie Amos, the UN humanitarian chief said.
- Sudanese mothers gather for a therapeutic feeding for their malnourished babies at the MSF ( Medecins Sans Frontieres ) field hospital July 17, 2012 in Jamam refugee camp, South Sudan. (Getty)
"Nearly 170,000 people have fled conflict and hunger, and many more are on their way to South Sudan," said Amos, also the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.
"But, once they get to South Sudan, tens of thousands of refugees are struggling for survival. People are dying of preventable diseases due to dangerous and overcrowded conditions. We need the international community to work together so that we can respond effectively to the crisis,” she added.
The UN Refugee agency (UNHCR) recently announced its operations were at "breaking" point, citing the increasing influx of refugees into South Sudan and neighbouring Ethiopia, prompting scarcity of resources, which were over stretched.
The donation, which came under the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), will reportedly support priority life-saving projects to help an estimated 65,000 people, including 13,000 children under the age of five.
“The cost of humanitarian operations in South Sudan is particularly high, due to the almost total reliance on imported goods and services, as well as poor road and river transport networks,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, UNHCR will reportedly receive more than US$10m of the funds, earmarked to ensure that all refugees have better access to clean water and adequate sanitation, shelter, and health care services, in addition to provision of kit, including bedding and kitchen sets for new arrivals and personal hygiene items for women and girls.
On the other hand, the World Food Programme (WFP) will receive US$4.4m from the fund to provide emergency food; US$2m will be allocated to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to provide clean water, sanitation and transport, while US$3.3m and US$227,927 have been earmarked for UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Population Fund (UNFPA) respectively.
Established by the UN General Assembly in 2006, CERF strives to help people affected by sudden-onset disasters and neglected emergencies. It’s funded by voluntary contributions from member states, non-governmental organizations, local governments, the private sector and individual donors.