The United Nations Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs for South Sudan Lise Grande addressing the press in Juba. [Gurtong/ Waakhe Simon Wudu]
By Waakhe Simon Wudu
JUBA, 16 May 2012 [Gurtong] –The United Nations Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs for South Sudan Lise Grande, the UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) raised the concerns yesterday in Juba.
Grande said that despite agencies preparing to assist at least 12,000 returnees who started arriving in Juba from Khartoum, humanitarian agencies are also providing assistance to 375,000 South Sudanese returnees who have been arriving in Sudan since 2010.
She also said the agencies are providing support to 20,000 people who have been displaced due to border violence between Sudan and South Sudan that broke out in March this year.
“Humanitarian organisations have also been supporting 170,000 people affected by inter-communal fighting in Jonglei State and 110,000 people displaced from the contested area of Abyei last year”, said Grande.
She added that despite the fact that there has been funding of $760million to address the humanitarian situation in South Sudan, only 32 percent of the funds have been released.
“Partners are equally concerned about increasing food insecurity. Assessments done by the Government of South Sudan and humanitarian agencies indicate that 4.7 million people, approximately half of the population are likely to be food insecure in the first year of statehood”, said Grande.
She said the combination of food shortfalls, conflict-related displacement, agricultural disruption, a deteriorating economy and border closer are impacting on the situation.
“Conditions are particularly difficult in border communities where prices of basic commodities have risen between 100-200 per cent. Unless the oil production resumes the situation is serious”, she said.
“Helping to build the resilience of households so that they can manage through the lean season is a top priority for humanitarian partners. Every effort needs to be made to secure people’s livelihoods for the future”, added Lise.
On Monday, IOM started repatriating the 12,000 South Sudanese who have been stranded in Kosti, Khartoum since last year to Juba.