News / Africa

Humanitarian Aid to CAR, South Sudan Woefully Underfunded

A family displaced by inter-communal violence in the country sit near  a plane in a camp for displaced persons at Bangui M'Poko International Airport February 20, 2014
A family displaced by inter-communal violence in the country sit near a plane in a camp for displaced persons at Bangui M'Poko International Airport February 20, 2014
Lisa Schlein
U.N. humanitarian agencies are calling for immediate contributions to fund emergency aid in the Central African Republic and South Sudan.  The agencies say desperate millions in these war-torn countries are suffering from lack of food, medical care and other basic needs because appeals are going unheeded. 

The United Nations said the crises in South Sudan and the Central African Republic comprised one of the biggest refugee and internal displacement situations seen in Africa in recent years. 

Despite multiple and desperate pleas for support from international donors, U.N. humanitarian appeals launched in December remain woefully underfunded.  To date, the U.N. has received less than one-sixth of its $552 million appeal for CAR and only about one-fifth of its $1.27 billion appeal for South Sudan.

The spokeswoman for the U.N. refugee agency, Melissa Fleming, told VOA it was a struggle to provide even the minimum amount of aid needed because the money to do so was simply not there. 

“We are appealing for money because with money we can provide a tremendous amount of aid to people we can reach.  We can help refugees in particular, but also many parts of South Sudan and also inside CAR are accessible to us and the more funding we have, and I speak for all of our partners, the more we are able to do to help these people… And we are seeing signs of really desperate people in terrible states of health leaving both South Sudan and CAR,” she said. 

South Sudanese girls displaced by the fighting collect their laundry from a barbed wire in a camp for displaced persons in the UNMISS compound in Tongping in Juba, Feb. 19, 2014.South Sudanese girls displaced by the fighting collect their laundry from a barbed wire in a camp for displaced persons in the UNMISS compound in Tongping in Juba, Feb. 19, 2014.
x
South Sudanese girls displaced by the fighting collect their laundry from a barbed wire in a camp for displaced persons in the UNMISS compound in Tongping in Juba, Feb. 19, 2014.
South Sudanese girls displaced by the fighting collect their laundry from a barbed wire in a camp for displaced persons in the UNMISS compound in Tongping in Juba, Feb. 19, 2014.
The United Nations estimates more than 739,000 people are internally displaced in South Sudan and nearly 200,000 others have fled as refugees to neighboring countries. 

Currently, U.N. figures put the number of internally displaced in the CAR at more than 700,000 and the number of refugees at more than 290,000. 

Fleming said many of the CAR refugees were struggling with illness and disease.

“We are really noticing a trend in all refugees that they are in very poor physical shape.  Some are suffering from malaria, diarrhea, respiratory infections.  Many have been hiding in the bush for up to even one year in the Central African Republic, which has significantly impacted their state of health.  Also, very disturbingly, many children under the age of five are showing varying degrees of malnourishment,” she said. 

The spokeswoman said that food shortages in South Sudan have propelled increasing numbers of people to walk long distances in search of asylum in Ethiopia. They arrive in terrible condition. She says more than a fourth of all refugee children are suffering from acute or severe acute malnutrition.

UNHCR’s Fleming said the countries of refuge, such as Chad, Cameroon and Ethiopia, were incapable of caring for the growing number of people crossing their borders.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid