UAE delivers emergency aid to South Sudanese refugees in Uganda

September 20, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

Isaac Kasamani/AFP

 

By

Gloria Nakiyimba

The United Arab Emirates has joined UNHCR to provide much needed relief items to South Sudanese refugees currently hosted in northern Uganda.

A Boeing 747 cargo jet provided by Dubai Royal Wings landed at Entebbe on Sunday morning carrying more than 100 tons of emergency relief items.

The items will be distributed in refugee settlement areas in Adjumani, Arua and Kiryandongo districts. Other items will be delivered to refugees in the new settlement camp of Bidibidi in Yumbe in Uganda’s West Nile region.

The shipment contained thousands of mosquito nets, sleeping mats, plastic sheeting, kitchen sets and solar lights.

The solar lights will provide each family with light, enhancing security and ensuring children are able to study after dark.

According to UNHCR malaria nets will provide crucial protection against the disease, given that many of the settlements are located in high-prevalence areas.

Kitchen sets will play a key role in helping to ensure that refugees are able to eat a healthy diet, something of critical importance with many refugees having fled from areas in South Sudan where food is difficult to get hold of or is prohibitively expensive.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Vice President of the United Arab Emirates and Emir of Dubai, agreed to partner on the shipment after hearing of the untold suffering being faced by the South Sudanese people since the outbreak of violence in Juba on July 8.

“We’re extremely grateful to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid for his ongoing support to UNHCR and for making it possible for us to ensure this much-needed aid gets delivered to thousands of the recent arrivals. This shipment will go a long way towards ensuring these people are living in a safe and dignified environment” said UNHCR’s acting Representative to Uganda, Bornwell Kantande.

The delivery comes just days after the number of South Sudanese fleeing violence in Africa’s youngest nation passed the one million mark.

More than 185,000 people have fled fighting in South Sudan in the past ten weeks, the majority of refugees being women and children.

Severe and chronic underfunding threatens to undermine the effectiveness of the humanitarian response to South Sudanese refugees to deliver even the most basic services. UNHCR and partners have so far received just 20 per cent of the US$701 million needed to provide adequate assistance to South Sudanese refugees in 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gloria Nakiyimba

Gloria has experience spanning more than five years in Journalism, particularly in field reporting, editing, newscasting and management. She is currently working with Capital Radio Limited [91.3 Capital FM and 96.3 Beat FM] as Head of News, a position she has held since 2010.

Gloria previously worked as the Kampala Correspondent for Radio France International [RFI] generating local story leads with international inference for RFI’s global audience. She also served as Political Editor for The Weekly Mail Newspaper as well as Online Content Editor for the California based Ugandan broadcaster KubutakaRadio.com.

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