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UNHCR seeks $1 billion for Sudanese refugees

By William Madouk

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi appealed for one billion US dollars to address the humanitarian needs of Sudanese war victims in the region.

Mr. Grandi said out of the one billion dollars, South Sudan will receive 356 million, while the remaining will go to Chad and Egypt, among other countries receiving the Sudanese refugees.

Speaking to the media while wrapping up his 3-day visit to South Sudan, Grandi stated that UNHCR had exhausted all the resources it had mobilized previously and currently needs more funds.

“We are operating in the context of a humanitarian appeal that we issued at the beginning of the crisis, just after the Sudanese refugees started moving out of Sudan in April,” Grandi said.

He appealed for half a billion dollars, not just for South Sudan but for countries that are receiving the Sudanese refugees.

“That appeal was valid until September, and we have received half of that amount, but that has come to an end,” he added.

According to him, only 40 percent of the requested amount was received, but now the required figure has doubled as conflict rages in Sudan, and many are still forced to flee to neighboring countries.

“I have today to announce that we are appealing for double that figure for a billion US dollars to run through from September to December because we are already in September,” he noted.

The UNHCR chief highlighted that all the response programs should be extended to meet the needs of about 1 million people fleeing the Sudanese crisis.

He also stressed that figure as the amount needed to be mobilized from international donors, well-wishers, and governments in those countries hosting the refugees.

Mr. Grandi urged the government of South Sudan to live up to expectations with the USD 15 million that they pledged.

“We have had important discussions on the humanitarian response with President Salva Kiir, the minister of humanitarian affairs and disaster management, and the (acting) minister of foreign affairs,” he said.

He added that it is very important that the government of South Sudan has pledged, USD 15 million to help with the very important aspect of the humanitarian response, which is the transportation from the border to areas where assistance can be organized.

Most returnees and refugees are in transit centers, mainly in Palouch, Renk, and other parts of the country, along the border with Sudan.

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