UNHCR welcomes the people of Japan’s commitment to the most vulnerable in South Sudan

UNHCR staff distributes a set of new blankets to a Congolese refugee seeking refuge in South Sudan | Photo: UNHCR

Press Statement | UNHCR

June 30, 2020 (Thessherald)–The UN Refugee Agency welcomes the generous contribution of USD 1 million from the people of Japan to protect and assist displaced persons across South Sudan. Since the outbreak of the conflict in 2016, Japan has donated nearly $17 million to support vital assistance to those forced to flee their homes.

“The country is at a pivotal moment, with many people still vulnerable and displaced as the implementation of the peace agreement goes on,” said Adan Ilmi, the UNHCR Representative a.i. in South Sudan. “Generous donations such as this one from the Japanese people enable us to continue our work supporting refugees and internally displaced persons in South Sudan, ensuring that no one will be left behind.”

Japan’s donation will help support life-saving activities, such as healthcare, and equip forcibly displaced persons with the tools to rebuild their lives through education. Programs being supported include primary healthcare centres in Makpandu refugee camp and Lasu refugee settlement in Western Equatoria. Located near the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, these centres are on the frontline of Ebola prevention. Strengthening such health programs and facilities is even more critical as the county responds to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The donation will also bolster UNHCR’s data-driven approach to humanitarian aid, strengthening protection monitoring and response in internal displacement sites, areas of return, and at key border crossing points. While South Sudan has yet to address all the root causes of forced displacement, which is necessary to ensure the 2.2. million South Sudanese refugees in neighboring countries a safe and sustainable return, displaced families continue to come back in a self-organized manner. UNHCR, the South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission and partners, which are monitoring the returnee’s protection needs, recorded 4,600 spontaneous returns in May.

“This assistance shows Japan’s strong and faithful commitment to addressing the basic needs of the most vulnerable populations,” H.E. Seji Okada said. “The assistance to UNHCR comes during a critical time in South Sudan. Japan applauds the partnership between the Government of South Sudan and UNHCR to assist displaced populations and the most vulnerable, while supporting South Sudan’s efforts for its development.”

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