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Obama Approves Money for Sudanese Refugees

Refugees wait for food aid to be distributed near the volatile border with the north, in Yida refugee camp in South Sudan, November 16, 2011.
Refugees wait for food aid to be distributed near the volatile border with the north, in Yida refugee camp in South Sudan, November 16, 2011.
Kelly J. Kelly

U.S. President Barack Obama has authorized $26 million in emergency funding to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to respond to the huge influx of Sudanese refugees fleeing the border fighting in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States.

On Tuesday Catherine Wiesner, the State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population, Refugees, and Migration said the funding will go to international agencies helping more than 140,000 refugees in South Sudan and Ethiopia.

The funding comes at a time when non-governmental organizations have been appealing for help to cope with the waves of new arrivals.

“The commitment allows UNHCR to finalize agreements with a number of implementing partners that have been responding to this crisis in all the basic sectors of health, water, and food,” she said.

Wiesner returned from Upper Nile State in South Sudan a few weeks ago, where some 85,000 refugees have arrived.

“What I saw was UNHCR and a number of NGO-implementing partners really working flat-out to meet the basic needs of these people," she said. "Some had arrived after months on the move, had fled their homes because of violence and bombing, and had arrived to a remote and sparsely population region of Upper Nile State where even the basics like providing clean water have been a real challenge.”

The U.S.-authorized funding is reserved for new and emerging crises like the humanitarian situation unfolding in Sudan. The refugees have been flooding the border region for several months as the fighting has escalated between the rebels of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army north sector and the government of Sudan.

‘’We’re giving this aid now because we’re aware this is a new, emerging, and urgent crisis in Sudan, South Sudan, and Ethiopia’’ Wiesner said.

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Comments
     
by: Thicked off
April 05, 2012 8:15 AM
While its a kind gesture for President Obama to allocate $26mil to help the newly displaced South Sudanese, but we must search in our hearts why this confrontation happened? A pending meeting between the two leaders was scheduled for April 3, and South began attacking Hegleg, which resulted in the cancellation of the anticipated meeting. This egotistical action caused the displacement of the people in need of aid, and may engulf into an all out war affecting millions more. Truly a Sad episode.

by: MARIA DEL PILAR SABRE
April 04, 2012 1:39 PM
The story repeats over and over again. How could we possibble prevent this from happening again . Can the World Organizations come up with a plan to stop the countries from enrolling in civil wars that end up in genocide and empoverishing their own people? ."Follow the trail of the money". If the combatients ( either goverments or rebels )go into the killing for mode, they should have their funds frozen , so that no money flows to get arms and weapons to continue the killings ..

by: AAAgrandpa
April 04, 2012 12:46 PM
Check your spelling on the word "aproves" in the title. The most current usage, rather spelling, seems to be that of "approve".

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