UN requires $1 billion for South Sudan relief workListen /
Aid agencies working in South Sudan say they will require over $ 1.1 billion in 2013 to meet the growing humanitarian needs in the country.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says a large proportion of the population in South Sudan remains vulnerable due to insecurity, displacement, food shortages, disease and seasonal flooding.
OCHA says some 4.6 million South Sudanese will need some form of humanitarian assistance next year, with nearly half of them requiring food assistance.
Jens Laerke is the spokesperson for OCHA in Geneva.
"It is a lot of money but the problems are also very big. We have about 40 per cent of the population which will continue to be food insecure, other sectors such as shelter water and sanitation protection education etc, will all require money. A huge part of the country is more or less inaccessible during the rainy season. When the rain season sets in we simply cannot transport things overland so that is one of the major challenge. Another aspect is the political instability we still see between South Sudan and Sudan. We have seen some improvements towards the end of this year, but it is still a very fragile political situation."
Spokesperson Laerke says the number of refugees fleeing from Sudan into South Sudan is expected to increase to 350,000 while inter-communal violence could displace up to 200,000 people next year.
Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.