UN agency seeks US$76.8 million to help South Sudanese

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The UN migration agency on Tuesday appealed for 76.8 million U.S. dollars to provide life-saving assistance to displaced and conflict-affected populations across South Sudan in 2017.

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The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said needs in South Sudan have reached unprecedented levels as the crisis enters its fourth year.

“Needs soared over the course of 2016 as the crisis spread to previously relatively stable regions, and deepened in Greater Upper Nile,” said IOM South Sudan Chief of Mission William Barriga in a statement issued in Juba.

Barriga said some 7.5 million people are in desperate need of aid, having exhausted coping mechanisms, faced multiple displacements and struggled with a failing economy.

Some 4.9 million people are facing severe food insecurity and 1.84 million are displaced internally, in addition to approximately 1.5 million who have fled to neighbouring countries.

“As civilians continue to bear the brunt of the violence, a political solution to the ongoing crisis is needed urgently,” Barriga said.

The UN agency said it will continue providing assistance at displacement sites, including protection of civilian sites, collective centres and other areas of displacement.

“Response teams will sustain robust efforts to reach populations in remote and often volatile areas,” the IOM said.

“As needs grow and worsen, humanitarian workers are facing increasing difficulty in accessing affected populations due to insecurity and bureaucratic impediments, complicating efforts to reach the most vulnerable and compounding existing needs,” it said.

According to UN humanitarian agency (OCHA), delivering supplies in the country depends, in a large part, on good weather conditions.

Humanitarian organizations strive to maximize the window of opportunity provided by the dry season to deliver supplies by road.

Once rain set in — usually in May — most roads become impassable and supplies must be delivered by air, multiplying the cost of the humanitarian operation, which is one of the largest and most complex in the world.

The IOM’s 2017 consolidated appeal highlights emergency humanitarian assistance based on existing capacity, focusing on the most urgent needs through health, logistics, shelter, and water, sanitation and hygiene assistance, as well as camp coordination and camp management and mental health and psychosocial support programming. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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