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$167m needed for S. Sudan refugees in Sudan: UNHCR

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January 22, 2017 (JUBA) – At least $167 million is needed as an inter-agency response strategy and financial requirements for the South Sudanese refugee emergency across Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

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South Sudanese refugees seen at Khor Omar camp for the displaced in El Daein, East Darfur on March 20, 2016 (UNAMID Photo)

The figure is contained in the South Sudan Regional Refugee Response Plan (RRRP) for 2017, which outlines UNHCR’s response strategy.

The conflict in South Sudan has intensified since July 2016 and has generated Africa’s largest refugee crisis. Over 130,000 South Sudanese refugees, including an estimated 85,000 children, reportedly fled to Sudan in 2016.

This brings the total number of South Sudanese refugees arriving in Sudan since December 2013 to over 297,000, according to UNHCR.

However, despite Sudan’s significant response needs, the 2016 RRRP was reportedly only 24 per cent funded, with the UN refugee agency stressing that the existing funding shortfall has stretched the capacity of inter-agency partners to respond while putting additional pressure on host communities, many of whom are already struggling.

The steady, yet significant flow of new refugee arrivals seeking safety in Sudan, UNHCR anticipates, is expected to continue into 2017, following the continuation of localised fighting, critical food insecurity and limited humanitarian assistance in South Sudan.

Under the RRRP 2017, UNHCR and inter-agency partners are reportedly seeking $166.6 million to meet the protection and assistance needs of South Sudanese refugees currently living in Sudan and over 60,000 new arrivals anticipated in 2017.

As such, the Sudan response plan reportedly seeks to maintain an emergency response capacity to ensure immediate protection responses, including legal protection, and address the urgent needs of new arrivals in 2017, stabilise the existing programme by aiming to achieve at least minimum emergency standards across sectors, particularly by enhancing further integration with national response mechanisms, promote solutions with a particular emphasis on enhancing protection through self-reliance and host community support, as well as create links to other national development plans.

UNHCR and the Commission for Refugees in collaboration with UN agencies, local and international non-governmental organisations, refugee and host communities are coordinating the response plan.

(ST)

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