JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN | Xinhua | The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have committed to deepening their collaboration for displaced people and host communities in South Sudan.
The UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Operations, Raouf Mazou, and the AfDB’s Vice President for Regional Development, Integration, and Business Delivery, Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, who concluded a joint visit to South Sudan this week, highlighted investments in refugee and returnee areas and the local communities hosting them, as well as the crucial role of partnerships between humanitarian and development actors.
“South Sudan has generously kept its border open to receive people fleeing the war in Sudan, but they can’t do it alone. More humanitarian and development support is needed to deliver life-saving assistance and enable conflict-affected communities to get back on their feet and rebuild their lives,” Mazou said in a joint statement issued in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.
More than half a million people have arrived in South Sudan since the start of the war in Sudan on April 15, 2023, most of them South Sudanese who had been in Sudan for decades, according to the UNHCR.
It said many people are heading back to villages that barely have any services, where there is no humanitarian assistance available.
The UNHCR said the Sudanese refugees are being relocated to refugee settlements where resources were already overstretched.
Akin-Olugbade said they are committed to responding to the biggest development challenges facing the African continent, including preventing and addressing forced displacement.
“Our collaboration and partnership with the UNHCR is an important and critical way to advance resilience and durable solutions for refugees, IDPs (internally displaced persons), returnees, and host communities in South Sudan,” she added.
The delegation visited a refugee camp and transit center hosting arrivals from Sudan, allowing them an opportunity to hear from affected people. In Juba, they met with high-level government officials, who welcomed the partnership and collaboration addressing the pressing needs in the country. ■
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