By Julius N. Uma
April 12, 2014 (JUBA) – The Government of Australia has earmarked an additional $7.8 million for South Sudanese communities confronting the dire humanitarian disaster.
Julie Bishop, Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister said the donation brings to $50m, the total aid her country had given the new nation.
The grant, she stressed, would provide life-saving assistance, with $5 million for food and logistics, through the United Nations World Food Program (WFP).
“The remaining $2.8 million will go to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees for shelter, healthcare, food, water and sanitation for the estimated 270,000 South Sudanese who have fled to neighboring countries,” she said in a statement.
"Australia continues to call on all parties to immediately honour their commitments to halt hostilities and to begin an inclusive, peaceful political dialogue,” it added.
Currently, a diminutive number of Australian defence peacekeepers are working with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
About 5 million people, the UN says, are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance in South Sudan, including over 800,000 who are internally displaced. An additional 280,000 South Sudanese are also seeking refuge in neighbouring countries.