UN allocates 11 million USD for return of the displaced
A section of one of the displaced persons’ camps in the country (File photo)
By Jale Richard
The United Nations has allocated 11 million USD to help facilitate the returning of displaced South Sudanese to their homes.
According to a statement from Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, (OCHA), the money was announced by the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) will enable 268,000 women, men and children who had been displaced by conflict within South Sudan to return to their homes.
“People who fled their homes with nothing are returning to nothing at their hands. They need urgent support. The CERF funding will ensure they have food, farming tools and seeds, sheltering items and other basic necessities ahead of the rainy season starting in May, when access to most areas will be cut off,” said Mark Lowcock, Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs. “They will need support to recover their lost livelihoods and rebuild their lives.”
Non-food items, including buckets and mosquito nets will also be provided in 10 priority areas. Healthcare, education, and clean water and sanitation facilities will also be strengthened in the areas of return, including serving people with disabilities. Protection services will be provided as a central component of the plan.
“Since the beginning of the year, we are observing an increasing number of population movements across South Sudan, including many people returning to their home areas,” said Alain Noudéhou, the Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan.
“It is vital that they do this in a voluntary, informed and dignified way. Keeping people safe is central to our response and we will continue to put a particular emphasis on protecting women and girls from violence. This CERF funding, which is part of a larger humanitarian plan, is a strong start to help people find solutions after years of displacement. Additional funding is urgently needed to provide humanitarian support and essential services,” he added.
About 1.9 million people have fled their homes due to violence and conflict and now live in settlements as communities throughout the country. Many of these people have been displaced more than once since conflict broke out in late 2013. Another 2.3 million South Sudanese have fled to neighboring countries.
The 2019 South Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan, seeking $1.5 billion to assist 5.7 million people, is only 5 per cent funded. Life-saving assistance must be sustained.