31 January 2018

South Sudan: UN Agency to Launch South Sudan Refugee Response Plan

Photo: Jason Patinkin
The sister of Duku Evans wails after her brother was killed by militia men.

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) will Thursday launch a regional refugee response plan (RRRP) in Nairobi, an appeal for fresh funding for the South Sudanese refugees.

The UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi visited Uganda this week to access the situation and met with refugees hosted in the northern part of the country.

"The High Commissioner is here to access the emergency response and proceed to Kenya where he will launch the Regional Refugee Response Plan for South Sudan on 1st February," an official from UNHCR in Kampala told The EastAfrican.

Uganda is providing sanctuary to some 1.4 million refugees and is receiving up to 500 refugees, mainly from South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo, a day, according to the UN.

The country now has the largest refugee population in Africa, more than half of whom are children.

The 2018 Nairobi meeting is expected to bring together the UN agency, relief organisations and leaders from Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan - who host majority of the refugees from South Sudan.

More than 1.9 million South Sudanese have fled, while another one million people remain internally displaced, in the country rocked by a four-year civil war.

According to a UNHCR update in December 2017, only 34 per cent of the $674.25 million requested for the South Sudanese refugee response programme in Uganda is funded, leaving a gap of 66 per cent.

Feeling the burden of accommodating refugees from various countries for years, Uganda president Yoweri Museveni - and the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres - last year hosted the Refugee Solidarity Summit in Kampala, hoping to use the occasion to get the attention of the international to raise $2 billion, but the summit managed only $358 million.

A Refugee Response Plan (RRP) is a UNHCR-led, inter-agency planning and coordination tool for large-scale or complex refugee situations.

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