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UN, partners appeal for $96 Million to support thousands fleeing Sudan

By Bida Elly David

United Nations agencies in South Sudan have jointly appealed for US$ 96 million to assist thousands of returnees and refugees fleeing the Sudan’s war.

In a statement extended to No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper yesterday, the United Nations registered that a number of fleeing returnees and refugees from the Sudan crisis keeps increasing daily.

They noted that since the outbreak of the fighting on 15 April, over 32,500 people have been registered crossing the border from Sudan into South Sudan.

“The real numbers are likely to be higher as some people entered the country without registration, with the average number of people arriving daily recorded at 3,500 individuals. Most people are arriving at the Joda border crossing point in Upper Nile State, having spent days on the road from Khartoum,” the joint UN statement partly reads.

Peter Van der Auweraert, the Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim in the statement revealed that more than 90 percent of those arriving are South Sudanese returning home as well as Sudanese seeking asylum, Eritrean refugees, Kenyan and Somali migrants, and other third-country nationals.

“The majority of those arriving, often with no belongings and very traumatized, are in dire need of immediate humanitarian assistance, including medical and psychosocial support, and transportation to their destination,” said Mr. Van der Auweraert.

Peter added that the UN jointly with partners through the Emergency Response Plan (ERP) aims to provide rapid assistance to those arriving population as well as support the Government of South Sudan’s efforts to help people move from the border as quickly as possible for safety.

The UN projected that a potential 180,000 South Sudanese are likely to return in the next 3 months and 10,000 third-country nationals expected to transit through South Sudan while 60,000 refugees are expected to arrive in the next 6 months if the conflict and tensions persist.

 “Of the total funding required, $39.9 million is to assist returning South Sudanese at the border and as they move onwards to their communities, while $53.9 million will be used to provide basic services to refugees in designated camps for six months,” the statement noted.

However a further $2.2 million is required to support third-country nationals with transportation assistance to their countries of origin thus the ERP is coordinated by UNHCR and IOM with the relevant government entities and humanitarian partners.

“A total of 64 organizations, 6 of which are UN system members, 19 international NGOs and 39 national NGOs, contributed to the plan. In line with existing coordination mechanisms, UNHCR will lead the refugee response, IOM and UNHCR will co-lead the support to South Sudanese returnees and IOM will oversee the response for third-country nationals,”

 The appeal for support according to the United Nations (UN) is urgent since arriving at border areas are extremely difficult to access.

“Often in areas where the few existing roads are likely to flood when the rains start in the coming days,” said the Humanitarian Coordinator. “If we do not act now, there is a high risk that vulnerable families will be stranded in inhospitable border areas for the duration of the rainy season, which will increase their suffering and the costs of providing assistance.” The statement stated

The personalities coordinating the appeal consist of   Peter Van der Auweraert, the Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim (a.i.), Ms. Marie Helene Verney, the Country Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Mr. John McCue,

There are over 1.1 million refugees in Sudan, of whom 800,000 are South Sudanese, over 100,000 Eritreans and 60,000 Ethiopians. In addition, unknown numbers of South Sudanese live in Sudan with no clear status. There are large numbers of migrants and foreign nationals living and studying in Sudan.

Before this latest crisis, South Sudan has 2.2 million internally displaced persons; over 1.4 million people identifying as returnees; over 5.8 million resident population projected to have critical lifethreatening needs; and 337,000 refugees.

In 2023, humanitarian partners are targeting 6.8 million people with urgent life-saving assistance and protection services. As of 2 May 2023, the Humanitarian Response Plan is reported as funded at 25 percent.

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