Home | News    Tuesday 16 May 2017

U.N and partners seek $1.4bn for S. Sudan’s refugee crisis

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May 15, 2017 (JUBA) – Two United Nations agencies have appealed to donors to step up support for people fleeing crisis-hit South Sudan as the $1.4 billion response plan remains 86% unfunded.

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South Sudanese refugees carrying Core Relief Items walk down a road in Bidibidi refugee settlement, Yumbe District, Northern Region, Uganda. (UNHCR/David Azia)

“Bitter conflict and deteriorating humanitarian conditions in South Sudan are driving people from their homes in record numbers,” the U.N High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi said in a statement jointly issued by the U.N Refugee agency (UNHCR) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

According to the U.N, the situation in war-torn South Sudan continues worsening, with a combination of conflict, drought and famine leading to further displacement and a rapid exodus of people fleeing one of the world’s most severe crises.

South Sudan has reportedly now become the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis with more than 1.8 million refugees, including one million children, having sought safety in Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Central African Republic (CAR).

“The suffering of the South Sudanese people is just unimaginable,” said WFP Executive Director, David Beasley.

“Aid workers often cannot reach the most vulnerable hungry people. Many are dying from hunger and disease, many more have fled their homeland for safety abroad,” he added.

Humanitarian agencies are seeking $1.4 billion to provide life-saving aid to South Sudanese refugees in the six neighbouring countries until the end of 2017, according to an updated response plan presented in Geneva today. But the plan so far remains only 14% funded.

“Our funding situation forced us to cut food rations for many refugees in Uganda," said Beasley.

However, with acute underfunding, humanitarian agencies are struggling to provide food, water, nutrition support, shelter and health services to refugees, further noted the joint U.N statement.

Communities hosting refugees are among the world’s poorest and are under immense pressure, the world body said in its joint release.

“Helping refugees is not just about providing emergency aid,” said Grandi.

“It also means supporting governments and communities in neighbouring countries to shore up services and economies in the areas receiving them,” he added.

South Sudan has witnessed renewed clashes between forces loyal to South Sudan President Salva Kiir and the armed opposition faction (SPLM-IO) backing the country’s former First Vice-President Riek Machar, in spite of the August 2015 peace agreement.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 16 May 17:02, by Mr Point

    South Sudan’s government is mainly to blame for famine in the war-torn country, yet President Salva Kiir is still boosting his forces using millions of dollars from oil sales, a confidential United Nations report alleges.

    South Sudan’s government made $316 million from oil sales in about seven months last year, the UN says
    At least half of the country’s budget is spent on creating refugees

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