UNHCR is grateful for Denmark?s important USD 4 million contribution that will alleviate the acute needs for many of the people who have been forced to flee their homes due to the violence in South Sudan and the Central African Republic (CAR).
The CAR and South Sudan crises have developed into one of the largest refugee and IDP (internally displaced person) situations in Africa, forcibly displacing more than 1.9 million people across a region with very limited support capacities. Many of the displaced people, including children, are acute malnourished and severely traumatized by the horror of the violence.
?The CAR and South Sudan situation is alarming, the needs are enormous and UNHCR is deeply concerned about the safety of the people affected by the crises. The suffering is immense and there is an urgent need for life-saving aid which is still largely unmet. Denmark?s emergency support will save lives?, says Pia Prytz Phiri, Regional Representative for Northern Europe.
Within South Sudan over 708 000 people are internally displaced and more than 260 000 have fled to the neighbouring countries Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Sudan. The UN estimates that by June 2014 as many as 3.2 million people could be in need of humanitarian help, including 235 000 refugees from mainly Sudan.
In CAR 657 000 people are displaced within the country, and almost 300 000 people have fled to other countries since 2004, about half of them to Cameroon. More than half of CAR?s 4.6 million inhabitants are currently in need of humanitarian help, including 16 000 refugees from Sudan and DRC.
In CAR the violence escalated in December 2013 when Anti-Balaka militias started to target Muslims in revenge attacks and over 34 000 refugees have fled to Cameroon. The situation is critical, with refugees arriving extremely vulnerable and ill due to hunger and exhaustion after having walked and hidden in the forests for days and weeks, many having lost relatives. An estimated 80 per cent are suffering from serious diseases such as malaria, diarrhea, and infections, while more than 20 per cent of children are severely malnourished. UNHCR and partners have helped nearly 10,000 refugees to survive with food, water, shelter and other relief items.
In South Sudan fighting between the government and opposition forces escalated in January 2014 despite the cease fire agreement. The humanitarian situation has deteriorated rapidly and the UN has issued a famine warning if the violent clashes continue and food cannot be delivered. At greatest risk is about one-third of the refugee population comprising children under five years of age, pregnant and lactating women, and elderly, disabled and chronically ill people. Among the refugees who have fled to Ethiopia, more than 25 per cent of the children are already suffering from acute malnutrition and UNHCR and partners have put in place a supplementary feeding programme for children, and pregnant and lactating mothers.
The Central African Republic and South Sudan emergencies remain dramatically underfunded. For CAR, UNHCR is appealing for USD 112 million, only 20 per cent has been received. For South Sudan, UNHCR is seeking USD 390 million, of which only 3 per cent has been funded so far.
Denmark?s USD 4 million donation is part of Denmark?s UNHCR emergency fund for 2014 of USD 8.8 million (DKK 50.5 million) of which UNHCR has allocated USD 1 million to the South Sudan emergency, USD 1 million to the CAR crisis, and USD 2 million has been allocated to CAR refugees who have fled to Cameroon. Denmark is one of UNHCR?s top ten donors. In 2013, Denmark increased its support to UNHCR considerably and ranked as UNHCR?s 8th largest donor with USD 86.5 million in contribution.
UNHCR is almost entirely funded by voluntary contributions, mostly from governments.
Photo: Two-year-old Hasan Adam Issa is suffering from malnutrition and diarrhoea. Hasan and his family fled their home in Mugum Village, in Bau County, Sudan. They are now living in Yusuf Batil refugee camp in Maban County, Upper Nile state.
UNHCR/ B. Sokol