National, News

Gov’t, IOM opt for cash to returnees

By William Madouk

 Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and UN International Organization for Immigration (IOM) agree to provide cash assistance to returnees who fled war in Sudan to enable them to make a living.

The Finance docket struck a deal with the International Organization for Migration worth USD 5 million on Friday to cover at least 40,000 conflict-affected people.

A family is expected to receive about $100 to $120 per month in a project that would run for six months, according to an IOM representative.

Muhammed Asar, IOM head of operation in South Sudan, stated that the document entailed providing cash assistance to vulnerable people and returnees who fled war in Sudan.

“So, this document and project are about facilitating and supporting the returnees with ample cash for them to survive for a period of time until they find a proper solution for themselves,” Asar said.

“This is another important thing—in a sense, we are saying that people can have and make their choice with dignity, rather than me giving them something that they would like or not,” he added.

According to him, the cash assistance would be determined by national cash working as to how much every family would require surviving on a monthly basis.

“There is about a 47 percent increase in the commodity rate in the northern [South Sudan] areas due to supplies, so by the time we are on the ground, that calculation will be made based on reality.  So, normally, it’s $100 to $120 dollars that are given to each family for the month,” he explained.

The government of South Sudan donated 5 million US dollars to IOM under the ‘Food Shock Window’ program to address the most basic needs of returnees and IDPs through cash-based intervention (CBI).

Mr. Kuol Daniel Ayulo, the first undersecretary in the Ministry of Finance, said due to an emergency, they decided to donate to IOM in order to assist people affected by the Sudanese conflict.

“We have emergency situations that require our attention as a government; to do that, we have to look around here and there to raise something that we can afford to do,” Ayulo said.

“We started with very little emergency support; as IOM mentioned, we are working out the figures in the equation to determine the number of affected people, although we have started with our own contribution as the government,” he continued.

Violence erupted in Sudan on April 15 between Gen. Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, leader of the Sudanese army, and his opponent, Mohamed Dagalo, known better as Hemedti, the commander of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.

The clashes have led to more than 1,200 deaths, 800,000 displacements, and serious property destruction. The sides have signed seven ceasefire deals, all of which were broken within hours of declaration.

In March last year, South Sudan got a grant of 115 million dollars, and the government, through the ministry of finance, decided to donate 15 million to WFP to support their school feeding program.


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