South Sudan: The World’s Fastest Growing Refugee Crisis

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  • Hervé Ladsous (right), Under Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations, arrives in Bor, South Sudan. 07 July 2013. Photo: UN file

The rising rate of citizens moving out of crisis-constrained South Sudan to seek refuge in the neighbouring countries is now a crisis, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees says.

Barely five years since its independence, the world’s newest country descended into war barely two years later, when President Salva Kiir accused his then-deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup.

The recent report by the UNHCR says that the bitter conflict and deteriorating humanitarian conditions in South Sudan are driving people from their homes in record numbers. Filippo Grandi from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, in the news release jointly with the World Food Programme, is worried the worsening condition in South Sudan will escalate further due tow drought and famine.

WFP Executive Director David Beasley reiterated that the condition is triggering further displacement and a rapid exodus of people. The impact of the migration is now felt by the humanitarian agencies that are now seeking $1.4 billion to provide life-saving aid to South Sudanese refugees in the six neighbouring countries until the end of 2017. The United Nations refugee and food relief agencies decry the low-funded response plan of $1.4 billion, which is 14% funded. They are seeking donors to step up support for the crisis.

The report says that South Sudan has now become the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis, with more than 1.8 million refugees. They comprise of one million children now seeking comfort in east and central African countries, among them Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic.

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