IOM increases support for IDPs returnees in South Sudan

South Sudan

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), a UN migration agency, said Wednesday it has stepped up cash-based assistance to more than 4,488 vulnerable returnees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) fleeing the fighting in Sudan into South Sudan.

The IOM said the assistance, backed by a 5-million-U.S.-dollar grant from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), aims to address their urgent basic needs like food, transportation, shelter, and sanitation, and it also contributes to an increase in household savings that will help the families’ (re)settlement.”The conflict in Sudan has affected the already fragile economic outlook of South Sudan, particularly for northern states that rely heavily on imports from Sudan, leading to an increase in food prices and fuel costs and exacerbating protection risks, food insecurity, and negative coping mechanisms,” said John McCue, IOM South Sudan acting chief of mission, in a statement issued in Juba, the capital of South Sudan. The UN agency said it has partnered with South Sudan to implement the project by providing cash-based assistance to the vulnerable returnees and IDPs in South Sudan. More than 480,000 individuals have fled from Sudan to South Sudan since the outbreak of fighting in Sudan on April 15, 2023, according to the UN.

The IOM said the vast majority of them are returning South Sudanese who have lost everything they owned during the fighting and are now returning to areas with limited essential services and into communities with limited coping capacities. According to the IOM, inflation in South Sudan has heavily impacted markets across the country, leading to a rapid increase in the prices of essential commodities, including food. “The project’s overall objective was to support the efforts of the government of South Sudan in addressing acute humanitarian needs of the vulnerable displaced population, including returnees fleeing from the Sudan crisis, through providing cash-based assistance,” McCue said. The IOM said the six-month cash-based intervention project that started in June through December 2023 included one-time vouchers and cash assistance for transportation to areas of return and multipurpose cash assistance and in-kind assistance.

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