The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and 108 aid organizations Friday requested $1.3 billion to assist 2.2 million South Sudanese refugees throughout 2023. Two-thirds of South Sudan has been submerged by persistent floods for four years, causing damage to tens of thousands of homes, farms and cattle.The money, requested in the South Sudan Refugee Response Plan, will benefit local host communities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda. The five nations were among UNHCR’s most under-funded operations last year.The request comes as the region’s economic situation continues to deteriorate amid rising gasoline and food prices as well as rising unemployment brought on by the COVID-19. High levels of underfunding, a protracted drought and acute food shortages have put a strain on refugee host nations.Furthermore, the appeal aims to help refugees and local communities produce revenue, meet their basic requirements, and live in dignity by offering digital financial support, as well as other activities that build resilience, like access to finance and training. Eighty percent of the South Sudanese refugees in the area are women and children, so financing for initiatives to address gender-based violence must also be given top priority.Host governments will also receive assistance to improve efforts to integrate refugees into national social protection systems and increase their access to essential services. To lessen the effects on the environment, initiatives to enhance the use of clean and sustainable energy in refugee-hosting areas will also be strengthened.
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