UNHCR, partners seek new funding to help 2.3 mln South Sudanese refugees in 2024

(Xinhua) 09:58, March 29, 2024

JUBA, March 28 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and its partners on Thursday appealed for 1.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2024 to meet the needs of 2.3 million South Sudanese refugees in East African countries.

The UN Refugee Agency and its 123 partners called for renewed support for South Sudanese refugees living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda with the new funding appeal.

Mamadou Dian Balde, UNHCR's regional director for the East and Horn of Africa and Great Lakes region, said significant strides and laudable efforts have been made over the last 10 years by partners.

"This year's Regional Refugee Response Plan builds on the incremental progress made and demonstrates that if given the resources, humanitarian aid combined with investments in resilience -- for both refugees and the host communities that welcomed them -- will facilitate longer-term solutions," Belde said in a statement.

The UNHCR said a similar number of people living in local communities in the five asylum countries will benefit from services and support provided through a Regional Refugee Response Plan.

The plan will build on inclusive policies led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the East African Community (EAC), and align with pledges made by governments, the private sector and donors made at the 2023 Global Refugee Forum last December.

According to the UNHCR, since the start of the conflict in South Sudan over 10 years ago, growing humanitarian needs compounded by dire food shortages, continued insecurity, and the impacts of climate change, have kept South Sudanese refugees in exile and prompted new displacement.

Four consecutive years of flooding have also destroyed homes and livelihoods, triggering further cross-border movements, it said.

The plan also aims to support the efficient delivery of humanitarian assistance and protection services, including the prevention of and responses to gender-based violence and sexual exploitation.

Balde said several countries in this region are certainly experiencing complex challenges that often demand significant financial requirements.

"However, the people of South Sudan deserve our attention and support so they can contribute meaningfully to their societies and gain skills for when they eventually are able to return home," he added.

UNHCR said while the war in Sudan has forced nearly 200,000 South Sudanese to relocate to safer areas within Sudan and hundreds of thousands of others to return to their country prematurely, more than 2 million remain in need of international protection in the region.

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Liang Jun)


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