Ministers announce new €2.3m funding for South Sudan victims
2016-12-15 14:32:59 -
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By Staff Reporter

New funding of €2.314m in humanitarian assistance for victims of the ongoing crisis in South Sudan has been announced by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The funding will support South Sudanese refugees in the West Nile region of northern Uganda, and brings Ireland’s humanitarian assistance for South Sudan to over €11 million in 2016. 

Since the outbreak of violence in December 2013, Ireland has provided over €30m in humanitarian assistance to the region, channelled through the UN, Red Cross and NGO partners on the ground.

“The situation in South Sudan continues to deteriorate at an alarming rate,” said Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan at the funding launch. “I am deeply concerned by reports from the UN that a steady process of ethnic cleansing is underway in several areas of South Sudan and that there is a clear risk of genocide.

“It is imperative that the military and political leaders of South Sudan do everything in their power to avoid the resumption of war, and to spare their people further suffering and to find a just political settlement for their differences.

The minister added that while the latest funding would support the emergency humanitarian needs of South Sudanese refugees in Uganda, “we cannot escape the fact that the humanitarian crisis requires a political solution to end the protracted cycle of violence in South Sudan.”

Meanwhile, Joe McHugh, Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, met with EU development ministers in Brussels ahead of his visit to Kenya in early December, where he took part in a roundtable discussion on conflict in the Horn of Africa.

“The conflict in the South Sudan is forcing people to flee to neighbouring countries in increasing numbers,” said Minister McHugh. “I saw the impact of this first hand when I visited Adjumani Refugee Settlement in Uganda in July, where many women and children had fled fighting and violence. Many were fleeing South Sudan for the second or third time in three years. We cannot allow this to continue.

“I also saw the generous refugee policy being implemented by the government of Uganda where refugees are given land and vocational education opportunities in order to provide them with a sustainable livelihood. 

“The funding we are announcing today [12 December] will go directly to support South Sudanese refugees in Uganda.“

The funding is being allocated to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and World Food Programme (WFP) to enable them to assist almost 592,889 South Sudanese refugees living in transit centres and settlements in the West Nile region of northern Uganda. 

Some €1.4m will be provided to the WFP for emergency food assistance, while €914,000 will be provided to the UNHCR for the provision of water, sanitation and non-food items in the newly opened refugee settlements, as well as for their overall co-ordination and logistical support.
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