South Sudan

UNHCR Urges International Community To Help Flood-Affected South Sudanese

The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) on Tuesday urged the international community to urgently assist the flood-affected people of South Sudan.

Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, said communities are facing unprecedented floods and storms, unpredictable rainfall, and distress under hotter and drier conditions as their basic needs and rights to water, food, livelihoods, land, and a healthy environment are hit hard.

Dujarric said the UN humanitarian agency was working with the government and international partners to provide food, emergency shelter, hygiene items, and solar lanterns to the most affected people.

The UNHCR blamed climate change for the worst flooding in South Sudan in decades that has impacted more than 700,000 people across the country.

“The country is on the front line of the climate emergency, where the people are the collateral damage of a battle they did not pick,” Arafat Jamal, UNHCR representative in South Sudan, said during a U.N. briefing in Geneva.

Jamal said the effects of the climate emergency are being felt on every continent and in every region, but its impacts are profoundly felt in East Africa.

He said 700,000 had been affected so far in South Sudanese floods and the number was increasing day by day. He had no death toll from the recent flooding.

The UNHCR official said heavy rains have swept away homes and inundated farmlands, forcing families and livestock to seek safety on higher ground and in neighboring towns. He said the floods mainly affected four states, and in some areas were the worst since 1962, with people’s ability to cope eroded by three years of consecutive flooding.

“The more that is lost the more people become dependent on aid,” he said.

With devastating flooding expected to continue as the climate crisis intensifies, UNHCR urged the international community to urgently assist affected communities to rebuild and protect people’s lives and livelihoods.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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