December 14, 2017 (JUBA) – As the conflict in South Sudan enters its fifth year, the United Nations and the humanitarian community in South Sudan launched on Wednesday a $1.72 billion appeal to assist six million people affected by conflict, displacement and hunger.
- People in conflict-affected areas of South Sudan collect food from WFP (WFP/eter Testuzza Photo)
“There is growing need for humanitarian assistance with displacement, food insecurity, malnutrition, violence and economic decline taking a toll on the health, safety and livelihoods of people in need,” Alain Noudéhou, the UN humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan said in a statement.
“Today, we are calling for $1.72 billion to continue providing life-saving assistance and protection for six million people most in need in South Sudan,” he added.
The top UN official said the new plan will mainly address the plight of the vulnerable groups like women and children affected by the war.
Up to four million people, the UN says, have been forced to flee their homes, including nearly 1.9 million internally displaced and about 2.1 million in neighbouring nations since violence, resulting from political disagreements, broke out in South Sudan in December 2013.
However, as the conflict continues in parts of the country, hunger and malnutrition rates have reportedly risen and without early actions, thousands of people in multiple areas risk facing famine.
The UN humanitarian coordinator also lauded donors’ response to the conflict in South Sudan and appealed to all the other stakeholders to play their roles in alleviating the peoples’ suffering.
“With our collective and coordinated efforts, we will be able to effectively provide much needed assistance to the people in need. Children will remain in school. Many more will survive diseases. Livelihoods and hope will be restored,” stressed Noudéhou, adding “There is so much at stake.”
On Wednesday, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Filippo Grandi appealed for urgent action by all sides to settle the conflict in South Sudan and put an end to its deepening humanitarian crisis and Africa’s largest refugee disaster.
The conflict, the UN refugee agency said, has created the largest refugee crisis in Africa, amid estimates the refugee population could exceed 3 million by December 2018