Italy has allocated 3.9 million euros for emergency interventions to support South Sudanese refugees. The amount will also support communities that are hosting these refugees in neighbouring Uganda and Ethiopia.
The allocation is to cater for the the provision of essential services to the refugees among others the provision of food, health and others sanitary interventions.
‘‘Lack of food and assistance, compounded to precarious hygiene and sanitary conditions, determine a real threat of famine, epidemics and tension between the refugees and the local populations,’‘ a statement from the Italian Foreign Affairs Ministry said.
‘‘Moreover, the state of emergency is such that even humanitarian organisations have difficulty in assuring protection and relief services to the hundreds of thousands of persons in need, most of whom are women and children.
‘‘The intervention activities will be carried out by the numerous Italian civil society organisations present in the areas concerned,’‘ the statement added.
South Sudan’s humanitarian situation suffered a setback when fresh clashes broke out in Juba between forces of president Salva Kiir and former first vice president Riek Machar. The clashes came barely months after Machar had returned to the capital to join a unity government.
The clashes resulted in many citizens of Africa’s youngest nation seeking refuge in United Nations protection sites whiles others fled their homes for fear of a return to war. Most of them are currently in neighbouring countries like Rwanda, Sudan and Ethiopia.
The UN Security council in August voted for a protection force of 4,000 troops to augment the 12,000 strong peacekeeping mission in the country. Machar fled following the clashes and has vowed to return to the country soon.