Published: Sat, June 24, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Food aid dwindling in world's fastest-growing refugee crisis

Food aid dwindling in world's fastest-growing refugee crisis

With Uganda hosting more than one million South Sudanese refugees "as sisters and brothers and sharing with them their land and everything they have", United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today urged the global community to show solidarity with those that had fled their homes, as well as with the Ugandan Government and people. Officials say host communities are near the breaking point.

The United Nations secretary-general is making a plea for protection of refugees around the world, saying some richer countries haven't been as tolerant as some in Africa.

Guterres said Uganda's "exemplary refugee policy" stood out in a world where many countries are turning their backs on foreigners in need. Most have arrived in the past year.

Since 1 July 2016, Uganda faces the world fastest growing refugee crisis with continuous and unprecedented influx of refugees from South Sudan.

"I don't think anyone ever anticipated that we would be dealing with one million refugees out of South Sudan alone", David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Programme, told Reuters.

On Thursday, he visited refugee camps in northern Uganda, close to the South Sudan border, which have popped up over the a year ago, quickly becoming the largest in the world.

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On World Refugee Day on June 20, UN Chief Guterres expressed concern that 80 per cent of the world's refugees are hosted by developing countries with "a dramatic impact" on their economy, society and security.

A South Sudanese refugee woman cleans a pot, while carrying a child, at the Palabek Refugee Settlement Camp in Lamwo district, Uganda June 16, 2017.

"The people (are) suffering enormously with this endless war", Guterres said.

He lauded Uganda's hosting nearly one million South Sudanese refugees "as sisters and brothers and sharing with them their land and everything they have".

As political perspectives in South Sudan remain bleak, starvation has been declared in some parts of the country, further increasing the likelihood of more people fleeing into Uganda, adding pressure to an already worsening humanitarian crisis. The EU funding will help meet the needs of the rapidly surging number of South Sudanese fleeing to Uganda. Within this appeal, UNICEF in Uganda requires almost $50 million in 2017 as well as $30 million in each year from 2018-2020 to provide critical health, nutrition, water and sanitation, education, early childhood development, adolescent development, and child protection interventions, to both refugee and host community children.

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