740,000 displaced inside South Sudan: UN

Nairobi, Feb 1: An estimated 740,000 people are displaced inside South Sudan with the largest increase in Unity State, a UN humanitarian agency said Friday.

According to the latest figures from the UN Office for Coordination of humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), some 123,400 people have fled to neighbouring countries of Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Sudan, Xinhua reported.

“People displaced are hosted in over 100 locations with 18 sites hosting over 10,000 people each. Aid organisations have assisted nearly 300,000 people so far, the majority outside UN bases in rural areas,” OCHA said in its latest report.

The conflict between pro- and anti-government supporters in South Sudan, which seceded from Sudan in July 2011, has caused so much suffering in the world’s youngest country in just over six weeks.

According to OCHA, displacement continued with violence reported in Jonglei, Lakes and Unity States.

The OCHA says the current crisis comes on top of an already challenging humanitarian situation in the country, where 3. 7 million people are now severely food insecure.

OCHA said partners have secured $111 million for the South Sudan Crisis Response Plan, leaving a shortfall of $98 million to meet the most immediate needs caused by the crisis.

“Several donors have pledged additional resources which have not yet been recorded. A revised Crisis Response Plan, extended until June, will be issued shortly,” OCHA said.

The UN humanitarian agency said requirements are likely to increase significantly in view of the growing number of people displaced and the expected deterioration of the situation during the rainy season.

The UN agency said the security situation in Juba and the rest of the state remained calm as response inside the UN bases continued, including efforts to improve sanitation in UN Tomping.

IANS