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World Refugee Council raises alarm over S. Sudan crisis

June 18, 2017 (KAMPALA) - The World Refugee Council (WRC) says nations have not done enough to help Uganda and it neighbours handle South Sudan’s humanitarian "tragedy".

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Leaders of South Sudanese refugees address a rally at Bweyale camp, April 30, 2016 (ST)

The global body, in a statement, said nations must "share the responsibility for protecting refugees, assisting host communities and providing robust support."

On June 22-23, Uganda will host the solidarity summit on refugees, jointly organized with the UN Refugee Agency, mainly to raise more cash to manage the crisis.

The newly-formed WRC convened for the first time in Geneva, Switzerland this week to consider the solutions to the global refugee crisis.

"The situation of South Sudanese refugees is symptomatic of deeper problems in the refugee system that the Council will seek to address," partly reads WRC’s statement.

Ten of thousands of people have been killed and over two million displaced since violence broke out in the South Sudan capital, Juba in mid-December 2013.

Uganda, which host nearly half of the displaced South Sudanese, has been praised for having an accommodative refugee policy. Uganda currently hosts over 900,000 South Sudanese refugees, the U.N refugee agency (UNHCR) said.

The numbers of those displaced is likely to be over a million by end of the year, UNHCR said. The country allows refugees to work and travel freely, access Ugandan social services and gives them a plot of land to live on, and another to farm.

In March, the U.N refugee agency reiterated its calls for financial support. Aid for South Sudanese refugees is reportedly only eight per cent funded at $781.8 million, and UNHCR’s funding appeal for Uganda urgently needs $267 million.

(ST)