By Staff writer
Humanitarian community in South Sudan is calling for urgent funding of US$26.4 million to ensure continued support for onward transportation for people fleeing the Sudan conflict to South Sudan.
Since the outbreak of hostilities in Sudan on 15 April, over 193,000 people have crossed into South Sudan, according to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
In June 2023, the number of new arrivals surged significantly, with approximately 15,000 individuals arriving from Sudan every week.
Over 70 percent of the arrivals enter South Sudan through Renk’s Wunthow border entry point, of which the vast majority is South Sudanese nationals.
With no end to the Sudan conflict in sight, it is expected that the number of people seeking refuge in South Sudan will continue to rise in the coming period.
“Many of those arriving in South Sudan are increasingly vulnerable with no financial resources to continue their journey inside the country,” said Peter Van der Auweraert, the Acting Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan.
Until now, National and State-level Authorities together with the humanitarian community have been able to provide onward transportation assistance to those without means so that they can reach their final destinations by road, river or air.
But the UN said funds are, however, dwindling rapidly and without new funding, humanitarian agencies will be forced to halt transportation assistance in two weeks’ time. Funding shortfalls have already forced the National Authorities to cease assistance.
Should the required funding not be secured, OCHA said the consequences will be extremely severe, impacting the well-being and safety of returnees and refugees from Sudan as well as of the South Sudanese living in the affected border areas.
“It is quite straightforward, everyday support for onward transportation is unavailable, hundreds more will become stranded in and around border towns like Renk, with already overstretched humanitarian services becoming overwhelmed within a matter of days, not weeks,” warned Peter Van der Auweraert.
“Unless we find a way to continue supporting onward transportation, we will soon be in a situation whereby the living conditions for people arriving become ever direr and the occurrence of tensions and conflict over scarce resources ever more likely.”
The humanitarian partners in South Sudan urgently require US$26.4 million to continue providing transportation support until the end of the year.
“South Sudan needs additional support from international donors, and that the National Authorities restart their support for onward transportation. Only a joint effort will avoid the humanitarian catastrophe we are all afraid of,” highlighted the Acting Humanitarian Coordinator.