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UNHCR launches $2.7bn appeal for South Sudan refugees

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 UNHCR launches 2 7bn appeal for South Sudan refugees Refugees New York Dec 18 2018 The UN High Commission for Refugees UNHCR has launched a 2 7 billion appeal on behalf of South Sudanese refugees to address Africa s largest displacement crisis UNHCR spokesperson Charlie Yaxley told journalists in Geneva that safe return remained elusive in the world s youngest country where millions were uprooted by years of brutal civil war Widespread fighting across the country began in 2013 between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and his Vice President Riek Machar following the country s declaration of independence from Sudan in 2011 Hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have been killed in the fighting which has been accompanied by a shocking level of human rights abuses According to UN appointed rights experts more than 65 per cent of women and girls in the country have experienced sexual violence Yaxley said The issue here is that there have been previous attempts at cultivating peace that have not withstood the test of time He appealed to the feuding parties to respect the latest peace agreement signed in September which envisages elections in 2022 and the return of Machar as one of five vice Presidents Although there has been a relative reduction in violence in parts of the country since September Yaxley said UNHCR does not yet view the current environment in South Sudan as being conducive for the safe return of refugees Many women have reported rape and other forms of sexual and gender based violence along with the killings of their husbands and the abduction of children during flight Children too have in many cases experienced extreme violence and trauma including the death of one or both parents the UNHCR official said He noted that many people were now primary caregivers for younger siblings while thousands had also been forcibly recruited as child soldiers by armed groups In early December UN Secretary General Ant nio Guterres condemned a series of brutal sexual assaults on 25 women and girls on the road to the Northern town of Bentiu Guterres described the incident as horrific acts that are a distressing reminder of how despite recent recommitments by the country s leaders to stop fighting the security situation for civilians remains dire More than 2 2 million South Sudanese are now refugees in six neighbouring countries Uganda Sudan Ethiopia Kenya the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Central African Republic Another 1 9 million have been uprooted from their homes inside their country While UNHCR commended the generosity of host countries in keeping their borders open to South Sudanese nationals in some places rations had to be cut as levels of funding have been far outpaced by rising needs Yaxley said He explained In Sudan some refugees and their host communities are having to survive on just five litres of water per person per day inevitably leading to tensions Schools are lacking teachers classrooms and educational materials leaving half of South Sudan s refugee children out of school Health clinics have insufficient doctors nurses and medications In an appeal for hugely more international support Yaxley noted that the 2018 humanitarian appeal which also covers its partners in the field had been funded at only 38 per cent Priorities for UNHCR include the promotion of social cohesion programmes for refugees and their hosts to ensure the ongoing viability of both communities living together he said Edited by Donald Ugwu NAN
UNHCR launches .7bn appeal for South Sudan refugees

UNHCR launches $2.7bn appeal for South Sudan refugees

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Refugees

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High Commission for Refugees

New York, Dec. 18, 2018 The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has launched a $2.7 billion appeal on behalf of South Sudanese refugees, to address Africa’s largest displacement crisis.

Charlie Yaxley

UNHCR spokesperson Charlie Yaxley told journalists in Geneva that safe return remained elusive in the world’s youngest country, where millions were uprooted by years of brutal civil war.

Salva Kiir

Widespread fighting across the country began in 2013 between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and his Vice-President, Riek Machar, following the country’s declaration of independence from Sudan in 2011.

Hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have been killed in the fighting which has been accompanied by a shocking level of human rights abuses.

According to UN-appointed rights experts more than 65 per cent of women and girls in the country have experienced sexual violence.

Yaxley said: “The issue here is that there have been previous attempts at cultivating peace that have not withstood the test of time.”

He appealed to the feuding parties to respect the latest peace agreement, signed in September, which envisages elections in 2022 and the return of Machar as one of five vice-Presidents.

South Sudan

“Although there has been a relative reduction in violence in parts of the country since September,” Yaxley said,  UNHCR “does not yet view the current environment in South Sudan as being conducive” for the safe return of refugees.

“Many women have reported rape and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence, along with the killings of their husbands and the abduction of children during flight.

“Children too have in many cases experienced extreme violence and trauma, including the death of one or both parents,” the UNHCR official said.

He noted that many people were now primary caregivers for younger siblings while thousands had also been forcibly recruited as child soldiers by armed groups.

Secretary-General Ant

In early December, UN Secretary-General António Guterres condemned a series of brutal sexual assaults on 25 women and girls on the road to the Northern town of Bentiu.

Guterres described the incident as “horrific acts that are a distressing reminder of how, despite recent recommitments by the country’s leaders to stop fighting, the security situation for civilians remains dire”.

South Sudanese

More than 2.2 million South Sudanese are now refugees in six neighbouring countries – Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Central African Republic.

Another 1.9 million have been uprooted from their homes inside their country.

While UNHCR

While UNHCR commended the generosity of host countries in keeping their borders open to South Sudanese nationals, in some places rations had to be cut as levels of funding “have been far outpaced by rising needs”, Yaxley said.

He explained: “In Sudan, some refugees and their host communities are having to survive on just five litres of water per person per day, inevitably leading to tensions.

South Sudan

“Schools are lacking teachers, classrooms, and educational materials leaving half of South Sudan’s refugee children out of school.

“Health clinics have insufficient doctors, nurses and medications.”

In an appeal for “hugely more international support”, Yaxley noted that the 2018 humanitarian appeal, which also covers its partners in the field, had been funded at only 38 per cent.

Priorities for UNHCR

Priorities for UNHCR include the promotion of social cohesion programmes for refugees and their hosts to ensure the ongoing viability of both communities living together, he said.


Edited by: Donald Ugwu
(NAN)

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