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

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid