Over SSP 156 billion required to avert looming humanitarian catastrophe

Over SSP 156 billion required to avert looming humanitarian catastrophe

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is seeking $540million (SSP 156.6billion) to prevent the looming humanitarian catastrophe envisaged to hit an estimated population of 7.4 million people in South Sudan.
The Humanitarian Coordination Office in South Sudan has launched an urgent funding appeal to support the novel coronavirus pandemic response and respond to emerging humanitarian needs.
Dubbed the COVID-19 Addendum to the 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan, the initiative is seeking for US$390 million (SSP113.1 billion). The Addendum also includes the National COVID-19 Response Plan, which requests $150 million, bringing the overall humanitarian appeal for the year to $1.9 billion.
The United Nations humanitarian organizations aim to assist 7.4 million people by the end of the year, a sharp rise from the 5.6 million planned before the outbreak of the coronavirus.
“The humanitarian community in South Sudan is committed to stay the course and deliver much-needed essential services and assistance for the most vulnerable, including older people, people with disabilities, and women and girls, as well as those who have been newly hit, such as the urban poor,” Alain Noudéhou, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan said.
Since COVID-19 was confirmed in South Sudan in April 2020, humanitarian organizations working alongside the Government and development partners and with support from donors have supported the National COVID-19 Response Plan with emphasis on prevention and mitigation.
Noudéhou added that “The pre-COVID-19 humanitarian operations must continue while we address new needs created by the virus, to avoid life-threatening consequences for people already facing serious risks including renewed conflict, hunger, and other more preventable diseases.”
The global COVID-19 pandemic is affecting countries around the world and is now spreading rapidly in South Sudan, with 1,776 cases confirmed as of 15 June.
The humanitarian office says the outbreak is already posing a significant negative impact on the humanitarian situation and any socio-economic and political progress the country has made over the past few years.
The UN says key achievements so far include 4 million people reached with risk communications about the virus; 2.3 million people reached with advanced food rations ahead of the lockdown and travel restrictions; over 300,000 internally displaced people reached with COVID-19 preventive messaging in Protection of Civilians sites and camp-like settings; and 265 health facilities supported with infection prevention and control supplies.
The collective response to the COVID-19 crisis, the UN says, will only be effective if organizations are able to operate in a safe environment.
“South Sudan is currently experiencing an increasing level of intercommunal violence and the continuation of armed conflict in parts of the country. This is killing hundreds, displacing tens of thousands, and hampering the delivery of assistance.
We need to see urgent political progress to increase stability and security at all levels to protect civilians and humanitarian workers; to ensure predictable access; to enable the delivery of humanitarian and health assistance; to facilitate socio-economic recovery,” Noudéhou stressed.

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