JUBA, April 4 (Xinhua) -- The UN Central Emergency Response Fund said Thursday it has allocated 11 million U.S. dollars to help about 268,000 South Sudanese who had been displaced by conflict within the country to return to their homes.
Mark Lowcock, emergency relief coordinator said the people who fled their homes will need support to recover their lost livelihoods and rebuild their lives.
"People who fled their homes with nothing are returning to nothing. They need urgent support. The CERF funding will ensure they have food, farming tools and seeds, shelter items and other basic necessities ahead of the rainy season starting in May, when access to most areas will be cut off," Lowcock said in a statement issued in Juba.
According to UN, about 1.9 million people have fled their homes due to violence and conflict and now live in settlements and communities throughout the country.
Many of these people, the UN says, have been displaced more than once since conflict broke out in late 2013. Another 2.3 million South Sudanese have fled to neighboring countries.
Alain Noudehou, humanitarian coordinator in South Sudan said the CERF funding, which is part of a larger humanitarian plan, is a strong start to help people find solutions after years of displacement.
Noudeho said more funding is urgently needed to provide humanitarian support and essential services."
"Keeping people safe is central to our response and we will continue to put a particular emphasis on protecting women and girls from violence," he added.
The UN said non-food items, including buckets and mosquito nets will also be provided in 10 priority areas.
The UN also said healthcare, education, and clean water and sanitation facilities will also be strengthened in the areas of return. Protection services will be provided as a central component of the plan.
"Since the beginning of the year, we are observing an increasing number of population movements across South Sudan, including many people returning to their home areas. It is vital that they do this in a voluntary, informed and dignified way," Noudehou said.