South Sudan refugee crisis seriously under funded

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A group of displaced women and children rest on Ethiopian territory after crossing the Baro River from South Sudan. Photo: UNHCR/L.F. Godinho

Humanitarian agencies responding to South Sudan's growing regional refugee crisis are urgently appealing for $658 million to help as many as 715,000 refugees expected by end 2014.

The UN refugee agency UNHCR says the ongoing conflict and worsening humanitarian situation inside south Sudan is fueling a refugee exodus into Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda at a much higher rate than initially anticipated.

UNHCR says many of the refugees are being forced to walk long distances to seek safety and are arriving exhausted, traumatized malnourished and in very poor health.

Melissa Fleming is UNHCR spokesperson in Geneva.

"We are appealing for these funds as a priority to help these people in the neighbouring countries, also to address the high number of unaccompanied and separated children that are coming, 14,000 of them. To date we have received some contributions but we are only 24 per cent funded. If this amount does not increase urgently, the consequences could be drastic and will include food shortages, worsening sanitary conditions, heightened risk of disease, and cuts to education programmes and this obviously exacerbates the hardship faced by refugees."

At present over 400,000 South Sudanese refugees have fled into neighbouring countries.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration 1’28″

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