UN calls for 61 mln USD to respond to devastating floods in South Sudan

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-09 00:42:20|Editor: yan
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JUBA, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- The UN humanitarian agency said on Friday it requires at least 61 million U.S. dollars to provide life-saving support to thousands of people affected by floods in most parts of South Sudan.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the support will enable speedy emergency response to victims of floods in the affected 32 counties in Upper Nile, Warrap, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Unity, Lakes, and Central and Eastern Equatoria regions, where an estimated 908,000 people are affected due to seasonal rains since July.

"There is a real emergency unfolding in Pibor and many other areas. Clinics, schools, churches and police stations are underwater. Entire communities are displaced, and if the waters continue to rise, they will be displaced again," humanitarian coordinator Alaine Noudehou said in a statement issued in Juba.

Noudehou recently concluded a visit to Pibor in Jonglei region, which is among the most affected areas.

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir on Oct.27 declared a state of emergency in these flood-affected parts of the country.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) revealed recently that the food insecurity situation in some of these regions before the floods could worsen after 20,000 tonnes of food were destroyed due to heavy flooding as the lean season approaches.

It said more than 3 million people were in need of assistance in the flood-affected areas even before the flooding began.

"Women told me that they are trying to find dry firewood to cook anything they can find, but children are going hungry. They have shown remarkable resilience and dignity, but are finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the flooding," said Noudehou.

OCHA said that 620,000 people out of the more than 908,000 affected are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance.

It disclosed that humanitarian support is urgently needed to save lives, ensure the continuity of the response following the peak period and protect humanitarian gains made in 2019 from being lost.

"Many donors have been generous and I call on others to join. I am releasing 10 million dollars from the South Sudan Humanitarian Fund for immediate assistance in the worst-hit areas," Noudehou revealed that Mark Lowcock, emergency relief coordinator and UN Under-Secretary-General for humanitarian affairs, has indicated that he will accept proposals for up to 15 million dollars from the UN's Central Emergency Response Fund.

"This will allow us to assist over 600,000 people with emergency shelter, food, health services and clean water, as well as other life-saving support," he said.