South Sudan funding: UNHCR thanks US and Canadian governments
Last week, we expressed concern over a funding shortfall for our South Sudan repatriation operation. Since then, we have received much-appreciated contributions from the United States and Canada that will help us overcome the immediate shortfall this month. But we still lack more than $15 million for the last quarter of the year. The United States provided $7 million the repatriation and reintegration of South Sudanese refugees, while Canada contributed $630,000 to be used mainly for mine action work. The 21-year conflict in South Sudan left the region littered with mines, posing a direct threat to returning refugees and internally displaced people.
There are still 350,000 Sudanese refugees in neighbouring countries waiting to go home to the south, and an estimated 4 million internally displaced persons in Sudan itself. Since December 2005, UNHCR had assisted over 12,000 Sudanese refugees to go back to the south from neighbouring countries.
On a broader level, UNHCR is still short $68.7 million in its overall annual programme budget for 2006. Our requirements are $825 million for the year for annual programmes, and we have so far received $756.3 million. We appreciate the support donors have shown so far and appeal for a rapid response to meet our remaining requirements for the rest of the year.