National, News

UN earmarks US$8 Million for returnees, refugees

By Bida Elly David

Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, (OCHA) South Sudan has released US$8 million to provide life-saving assistance to thousands of people who fled Sudan conflict.

Coordinator ad interim for South Sudan, Mr. Peter Van der Auweraert announced the fund in a statement seen by No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper on Thursday.

Over 150,000 people affected by Sudan conflict who fled into South Sudan are set to benefit from the South Sudan Humanitarian fund.

“This fund will complement $8 million released from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) Rapid Response Window, to support the implementation of life-saving activities, “it states in part.

The June 2023 released fund was aligned to IOM-UNHCR led Emergency Response Plan for the crisis in Sudan.

According to the United Nations projection, over 149,000 individuals have been recorded arriving in South Sudan since conflict erupted on 15 April in Khartoum.

UN OCHA projected the arrivals to increase as the crisis continues; noting that transportation of South Sudanese returnees and Sudanese refugees from transit sites remains a significant challenge.

Due to poor road infrastructure and large distances, the United Nations noted that insecurity in some areas and the additional logistical challenges posed by the onset of the rainy season remain a challenge.

According to the acting humanitarian coordinator, this funding will facilitate activities to support the onward movement of people from transit sites to their destinations of choice.

“The additional funds will also allow us to scale up the provision of lifesaving activities, including food, health care, protection, shelter/non-food items and WASH assistance to people in the transit sites,” OCHA explained.

OCHA boss said that many people who fled the conflict in Sudan are arriving across the border with nothing.

Many reported being subjected to violence and exploitation, such as extortion and looting, as they fled to South Sudan.

Van der Auweraert underscored that the returnees need urgent support to reach safely and rebuild their lives.

The generous contribution from the donors to the SSHF and CERF, humanitarians can help more vulnerable people arriving in South Sudan.

“With no end to the conflict in sight, I am afraid that this may not be the last time we will call upon international solidarity to support South Sudanese returnees and refugees,” OCHA boss noted.

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