This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards - to whom quoted text may be attributed - at the press briefing, on 10 January 2014, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
UNHCR is appealing today for US$99 million to help the hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the worsening humanitarian crises in South Sudan and the Central African Republic. The money is both for the South Sudanese and Central Africans who have fled their countries as well as for those who are displaced internally.
The $99 million comprises $59 million for the South Sudan situation and $40.2 million for the Central African Republic crisis, both for the period till end March. It follows a joint appeal on 31 December by OCHA for $209 million for South Sudan and a 24 December 100 Day Plan for CAR covering $152.2 million in immediate support needs. Today's appeals reflect the worsening situations in both cases, with hundreds of thousands of people now affected.
In South Sudan, the situation has continued to deteriorate. Fighting has spread to seven of the country's 10 states. The number of South Sudanese fleeing to neighbouring countries has quickly increased, and now totals some 43,000 people. As of Wednesday, 32,443 South Sudanese had arrived in Uganda, 4,754 in Kenya's Kakuma Refugee Camp, some 6,000 in Ethiopia and at least several hundred in Sudan, with unconfirmed reports of thousands having fled there. Uganda is now seeing between 4,000 and 5,000 South Sudanese arriving every day.
Inside South Sudan some 232,000 people have been forced to flee their homes and are now displaced internally. This includes 60,500 people sheltering at 10 UN bases.
UNHCR's appeal is based on existing numbers of forcibly displaced and projections of additional displacement between now and April. It anticipates that refugee numbers could rise to 125,000 and that the number of people displaced within South Sudan could reach 400,000.
Today's supplementary budget appeal of $40.2 million for the Central Africa Republic crisis is designed to support more than one million (1,044,400) people. They include 86,400 refugees in Cameroon, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo who fled CAR in 2013, and 958,000 people who are displaced by the fighting in CAR, among them 8,000 refugees in Bangui - mainly from the DRC and Sudan.
In the situations of both South Sudan and CAR, we are extremely concerned about the safety of refugees and displaced people, particularly with access being affected by the fighting and insecurity. In South Sudan for example, we continue to support an existing refugee population of more than 230,000 Sudanese in 10 camps. But the crises have displaced tens of thousands more people in both countries, and insecurity makes assisting them more expensive, having to resort to airlifts for example when roads are not safe.
UNHCR emergency operations include registering, sheltering and protecting refugees. They include providing supplies to displaced people, designing and managing camps for them as well as protecting the most vulnerable among them.