South Sudan gets $21m in emergency UN funds

26 Feb 16

The United Nations emergency fund has released $21m to deliver humanitarian aid for those affected by conflict and connected food insecurity in South Sudan.

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People in displaced persons camp in Juba, South Sudan

People in displaced persons camp in Juba, South Sudan

 

Around $15m of this will go towards assisting more than 250,000 people caught up in the fighting, many of whom can only be reached by road and are likely to be cut off when the rainy season begins at the end of April.

The UN said reaching those people and delivering assistance in this small window of time is therefore essential.

Earlier this month the humanitarian community appealed for urgent funding as they raced against the clock to scale up their response to the unprecedented levels of hunger in the world’s youngest country.

“The protracted conflict and worsening food insecurity have resulted in the urgent need for life-saving assistance,” said UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon during a recent visit to the war-torn country.

“Timeliness of this assistance is critical, as time lost will result in lives lost. These funds will provide protection and relief to people when it is needed the most.”

A further $6m of the funds will go towards the relocation of 76,000 refugees from a refugee camp in the country’s Unity State to a new camp in Pamir, in the neighbouring Upper Nile State.

Stephen O’Brien, UN under secretary general and emergency relief coordinator, said while the funding comes at a critical time, more is urgently needed to respond to “the scale and the urgency of the challenge”.

“I call on donors to significantly increase their humanitarian funding to provide relief for those whose lives are at risk,” he stated.

As much as 25% of South Sudan’s population are in urgent need of assistance and at least 40,000 are “on the brink of catastrophe”, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, UNICEF and the World Food Programme, who released a joint statement on the situation at the beginning of February.

The humanitarian community have appealed for $220m in total to help those people who could soon be cut off by the rainy season. 

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