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UN allocates $8 million for Sudan war survivors

By William Madouk

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has released 8 million US dollars to cater for the needs of Sudanese refugees and South Sudanese returnees fleeing the conflict in Sudan.

According to OCHA, the funds to provide life-saving assistance was released from the South Sudan Humanitarian Fund (SSHF) to minimize dire humanitarian situation.

Since the war broke out in Sudan on April 15, 2023, over 149,000 people have crossed into South Sudan to seek refuge, and the number is still rising, according to UNOCHA statistics.

Peter Van der Auweraert, the interim humanitarian coordinator in South Sudan, said in a statement, “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,” he added.

OCHA said, onward carrying of returnees and Sudanese refugees from transit sites remains a major challenge due to poor road structure and long distances, insecurity in some areas and logistical challenges posed by the onset of the rainy season.

“Many people who fled the conflict in Sudan are arriving across the border with nothing. Many reported that they were subjected to violence and exploitation, such as extortion and looting, as they fled to South Sudan. They need urgent support to reach safety and rebuild their lives,” said Van der Auweraert. This fund allocation will complement the $8 million released from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) Rapid Response Window in June 2023, to effect implementation of life-saving activities aligned to the IOM-UNHCR-led Emergency Response Plan for the crisis in Sudan.

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

“But, 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 coming across the border,” he emphasized.

In July, 2023, the humanitarian community in South Sudan appealed for $26.4 million to continue providing transportation for those fleeing Sudan’s conflict.

He also warned that in case funding is not provided, more of the people fleeing Sudan to South Sudan will be marooned.

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