South Sudanese refugees need $2.7 billion, as safe return remains elusive

UNHCR/Duniya Aslam Khan South Sudanese refugee child next to a fantasy pair of slippers he drew, in a Bidibidi refugee settlement, in Uganda.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) launched a $2.7 billion appeal on behalf of South Sudanese refugees on Tuesday, to address Africa’s largest displacement crisis, where millions have been uprooted by years of brutal civil war.

Widespread fighting across the world’s youngest country began in 2013 between forces loyal to the President, Salva Kiir, and his Vice-President, Riek Machar, following the country’s declaration of independence from its northern neighbour 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 – more than 65 per cent of women and girls in the country have experienced sexual violence, according to UN-appointed rights experts.

“The issue here is that there have been previous attempts at cultivating peace that have not withstood” the test of time, UNHCR spokesperson Charlie Yaxley told journalists in Geneva, before appealing to the warring parties to respect the latest peace agreement, signed in September, which envisages elections in 2022 and the return of Mr. Machar as one of five vice-Presidents.

Conditions ‘not yet conducive’ to refugees’ return

Although there has been a “relative reduction in violence” in parts of the country since September, Mr. Yaxley added that 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,” the UNHCR official said.

“Children too have in many cases experienced extreme violence and trauma, including the death of one or both parents,” he added, noting that many are now primary caregivers for younger siblings and “thousands” have also been forcibly recruited as child soldiers by armed groups.

Earlier this month, UN Secretary-General António Guterres condemned a series of brutal sexual assaults on women and girls on the road to the northern town of Bentiu.

According to the UN mission there, some 125 women and girls sought treatment after being sexually assaulted – 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, Mr. Guterres said.

More than 2.2 million South Sudanese are now refugees in six neighbouring countries – Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Central African Republic (CAR) – and another 1.9 million have been uprooted from their homes inside their country.

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

“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,” he explained. “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”, Mr. Yaxley noted that this year’s humanitarian appeal – which also covers its partners in the field – has 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. “In any refugee situation, it is vital that both communities are helped,” Mr. Yaxley said.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Von der Leyen announces the start of HERA Incubator to anticipate the threat of coronavirus variants

This 12-year-old built an underwater robot to fight plastic pollution

A 10-step plan to save our seas

5 facts you might not know about why forest biodiversity matters

EU budget 2021: An annual budget focused on European recovery

“Fortress Europe”, “Pegida” and its laughing stocks

Greece returns to markets at a high cost to taxpayers, after four years out in the cold

Ecuador: UN ‘stands ready’ to support talks, in bid to end political turmoil

Civilians ‘must never be a target,’ says UN in Afghanistan, amid troubling number of casualties during Ramadan

How do you make supply chains more visible without compromising security? A Dutch start-up may have the answer

How trade-based money laundering works and its impact on world finances

Disillusioned young people – France thinks it has a solution

UN chief praises Japanese climate resilience, as Typhoon Hagibis cleanup begins

More children killed by unsafe water, than bullets, says UNICEF chief

New research reveals the true extent of corruption in fisheries

We must stop a devastating ‘battle to the end’ in southwest Syria, declares UN envoy

DiscoverEU: 20,000 more young people will explore Europe in 2020

These are the 3 key skill sets workers will need to learn by 2030

UK: Crawley group wins European Citizens’ Prize

Did Draghi ask the Germans to accept a drastic change of austerity policies?

Joint European Union-United States Statement on addressing global steel and aluminum capacity

New General Assembly President brings ‘valuable insights’ into key UN challenges

3 vital skills for the age of disruption

The UN supports Europe’s military action in Libya and the Mediterranean; Russia and China agree

Europe turns out more jobs this summer

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: Europe’s children urge leaders to commit to climate action at UN Climate Summit in Paris

In aftermath of Libya airstrike deaths, UN officials call for refugees and migrants to be freed from detention

CHINA: five letters that could mean…

The world just took a step closer to eradicating polio

‘Harmonized’ plan launched to support millions of Venezuelan refugees and migrants

Here’s what a Korean boy band can teach us about globalization 4.0

Presidents of pan-European youth organisations call upon the European Council to preserve the Schengen principles

5 lessons for the future success of virtual and augmented reality

Germany is the world’s most innovative economy

EU Migrant Crisis: Italian Coast Guard Headquarters and Italian Navy to give host national opening addresses at Border Security 2016 in Rome

United States: UN chief ‘deeply saddened’ by deadly California wildfires

The price of centralization of human resources for health

Denmark is experimenting with ‘culture vitamins’ to lift people out of depression

How banking with blockchain can stamp out corruption and increase financial inclusion

African cities will double in population by 2050. Here are 4 ways to make sure they thrive

Europe bows to Turkey’s rulers, sends Syrian refugees back to chaos

These countries are driving global demand for coal

Bolivia: UN underlines support for ‘credible, transparent and inclusive’ election

Coronavirus: Commission issues guidelines on testing

A letter from Italy: Our insecurity in COVID-19 times

ICC Appeals Chamber acquits former Congolese Vice President Bemba from war crimes charges

The racial wealth gap in the US is affecting its citizens and its economy – this is how

Eurozone set to abandon monetary and incomes austerity and adopt growth friendly policies

Friday’s Daily Brief: human rights in Sudan, sombre anniversaries for Rwanda and Nigeria, and fears of ‘chaos’ in Libya

Business can be profitable AND drive progress on societal priorities

COVID19 a wake-up call to address development fault lines in Asia and the Pacific

EU, Canada and China co-host international meeting on climate cooperation and a sustainable economic recovery

Why building consumer trust is the key to unlocking AI’s true potential

How populist and xenophobic movements in the EU tear apart European businesses and startups

Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of GrandVision by EssilorLuxottica

Protecting citizens’ access to social security in case of no-deal Brexit

Amid strong outlook for U.S. economy, risks abound

How can emerging economies navigate the mobility transition?

Vaccine nationalism – and how it could affect us all

Who is culpable in the EU for Ukraine’s defection to Russia?

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s