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UN launches $1.5bn appeal for South Sudan refugees

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February 1, 2018 (NAIROBI) - The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, and the Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock have launched a funding appeal for $1.5 billion to support refugees fleeing the worsening humanitarian situation in South Sudan and for $1.7 billion for its people in need during 2018.

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South Sudanese refugees in Gambela, Ethiopia (Photo: South Sudan Consul, Gambela)

The appeal was jointly launched on Thursday in Nairobi, Kenya.

Nearly 2.5 million South Sudanese, the UN said, have fled the country into Uganda, Kenya, Sudan, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic since conflict broke out in December 2013.

Conflict and insecurity, it says, has also forcibly displaced 1 in 3 of the country’s population, either within South Sudan or across its borders.

Inside the country, 7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. The number of refugees is projected to cross the 3 million mark by the end of this year, making South Sudan Africa’s largest refugee crises since the Rwanda genocide.

“The human cost of the South Sudan conflict has reached epic proportions,” said Grandi.

“If the war doesn’t stop, refugee numbers will rise from 2.5 to three million in 2018. The conflict is purging South Sudan of the people who should be the greatest resource of a young nation. They should be building the country, not fleeing it. For as long as the people of South Sudan await peace, the world must come to their aid,” he added.

Uganda, the largest host with over a million refugees, could end up hosting a further quarter million refugees more, UN estimates show.

According to the world body, nearly 90% of the forcibly people displaced are women and children and nearly 65% are under 18. Women have reported rape and other forms of violence, the killing of their husbands, and the abduction of children during flight.

“The conflict in South Sudan has taken a brutal and deadly toll. Many millions have fled in fear for their lives. They now require our support,” said Lowcock.

“It is in the interest of everyone to continue to provide generous and continuous support to people affected by the crisis inside and outside the country,” he added.

Despite this, funding for the South Sudan refugee crisis remains dismally low, with only 33% of the required funds reportedly sourced last year. The humanitarian response plan for 2017 was 73% funded, allowing the UN and its partners to about reach 5.4 million people

(ST)

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  • 2 February 19:38, by jubaone

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