Refugees demand health and education services

Refugees living in South Sudan are calling for provision of health and education services.

Benjamin Farouk, the Refugees’ Representative said lifesaving protection and multi-sector humanitarian response for newly arriving refugees are the most needed services.

He appealed to the authority to open more new refugee settlement camps in the country.

He said stabilization of the seven new settlement areas opened over the past nine months, in particular with regard to water and sanitation in Uganda needs many health and education facilities.

He said the establishment of child protection and sexual gender-based violence prevention and response mechanisms livelihood support to reduce aid dependency to fulfill the potential of Uganda’s good practice refugee policy is should be adopted in the country.

He said environmental protection and mitigation measures in refugee hosting areas should be encouraged to reduce the burden on the host community, in particular by engaging development actors.

“On behalf of the refugees, I would like to appreciate UNHCR and the government of South Sudan for attending this important day,” he said. “It shows that you are ready to stand strong with refugees,” he said.

He appealed to the government of South Sudan and international organizations to know that there are many refugees in the neighbouring countries such as Sudan, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and Uganda who all need support.

Farouk added that some problems raised by the refugees are multi-disciplinary in nature such as lack of adequate livelihoods support, conflicts among ethnic groups, with host communities and within homes due to GBV.

“Increased food security, access to productive assets is critical to achieve sustainable livelihood. Agricultural activities such as small-scale food production and backyard gardening are income generating activities for increasing the nutritional intake of refugees,” he said.

He added that they had limited opportunities to generate income for their families and often opt for selling parts of their food rations to buy other items, thereby lowering their caloric intake and nutrition.

He said the refugees need the imitative for self-reliance by proving them with training on agriculture and small-scale business.

By Asunta Alith

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