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UN allocates $11M to help South Sudanese nationals in Uganda return home

Refugees queue to get relief items at Rhino Camp in Arua recently. (FILE PHOTO)

JUBA – The United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) announced an allocation of US$11 million to help 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. They need urgent support. The CERF funding will ensure they have food, farming tools and seeds, shelter items and other basic necessities ahead of the rainy season starting in May when access to most areas will be cut off,” said Mr. Mark Lowcock, Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs.

He added that; “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.

He noted that protection services will be provided as a central component of the plan.

Alain Noudéhou, the Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, said since the beginning of2019, the country has observed an increasing number of population movements across South Sudan, including many people returning to their home areas.

“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,” he noted.

The CERF funding is part of a larger humanitarian plan to help people find solutions after years of displacement.

He, however, explained that additional funding is urgently needed to provide humanitarian support and essential services.”

Some 1.9 million people have fled their homes due to violence and conflict and now live in settlements and 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 neighbouring countries including Uganda. South Sudanese nationals constitute about three-quarters of the refugee population in Uganda. The majority arrived during the past two years.

The 2019 South Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan, seeking $1.5 billion to assist 5.7 million people, is only 5 per cent funded.

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