UNHCR Funding Shortage As South Sudanese Flee to Uganda


The United Nation’s refugee agency (UNHCR) is appealing to donors as it warns of a funding shortage for South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis.

In a joint statement with the Ugandan government on Wednesday, the organization admitted it is overwhelmed by the number of South Sudanese refugees entering Uganda. The situation is so poor now the agency says it has had to ration food and cash assistance by up to 50 percent.


UNHCR overwhelmed

Renewed violence in South Sudan has forced more refugees to flee the country. Uganda is home to more than 200,000 refugees from the country and the numbers are now posing a problem for an already-overstretched UNHCR.

“Low levels of funding, together with a large number of new arrivals fleeing to Uganda from South Sudan since 7 July, has left the refugee response with no choice but to re-prioritise their focus on those refugees in greatest need,” said Charlie Yaxley, associate external relations officer of UNHCR in Kampala.

She says those most vulnerable will continue to receive full rations – including the elderly, orphans, the sick and those suffering from malnutrition. However, the organization is calling on donors to help the UNHCR to provide full rations to all refugees who need its help.


Difficult situation

Mike Sackett, the UN World Food Programme’s Acting Country Director for Uganda, says the decision to cut rations was difficult to make.

“We have done everything we can to avoid this, but we have been left with no option but to reduce food assistance for many of the refugees in Uganda in order to stretch available resources and prioritise the most vulnerable new arrivals,” he said.

WFP needs around $7 million per month to provide life-saving supplies to refugees in Uganda but the cost is increasing as the population grows. It’s estimated the body will need an additional $20 million to restore full rations for the rest of the year.


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flickr photo by Metropolico.org https://flickr.com/photos/95213174@N08/19747836964 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.