January 20, 2016 (JUBA – Aid agencies in operating in South Sudan have launched a humanitarian appeal for 2016, calling for US $1.3 billion to provide vital assistance to 5.1 million people in country, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Tuesday.
More than 2.3 million people in South Sudan have reportedly been forced to flee their homes since conflict began in the world’s youngest nation. This, according to OCHA, includes nearly 1.7 million internally displaced people and about 640,000 refugees in neighbouring countries.
- Deputy head of UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Eugene Owusu (YouTube Photo)
Some 3.9 million people in South Sudan, aid agencies say, were severely food insecure, as of September 2015. This in addition to an estimated 230,000 children under the age of five said to be severely malnourished.
“In 2015, more than 4.4 million people across South Sudan, including in some of the most remote locations, were reached with humanitarian assistance,” said Farhan Haq, a spokesperson for the UN secretary general.
According to OCHA, a total of 114 humanitarian organizations, including international, national, non-governmental organizations as well as UN agencies needs more funds for project plans to be implemented in 2016.
Eugene Owusu, the UN humanitarian coordinator in South Sudan told humanitarian partners there is need for increase in efficiencies and maximizing synergies to reach as many people as possible by end of 2016.
“This appeal must be fully funded. It presents the bare minimum required to respond to the most urgent needs, and these needs cannot go unanswered. The challenge we face is unprecedented but we must not give up,” said Owusu.
“It is the sincere hope of the humanitarian community that 2016 will bring long-lasting peace to this young and potentially great nation and replace the desperation and devastation we have seen in 2015 with hope for a brighter future,” he added.
South Sudan is the second largest emergency operation of humanitarian response in the world after Syria, according to International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). However, the UN has warned of severe food insecurity, following the 21 months of conflict that engulfed the country.