Number of civilians seeking protection at UN is reducing, official reports

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[Juba, South Sudan, TCT] There has been a fall in the number of people seeking safety at the UN protection-of-civilian sites in South Sudan. It has been reported that the current number seeking protection stands at 188,000  people, down from more than 200,000 a few weeks ago in five sites.

The Spokesperson of the UN Mission in South Sudan, Ariane Quentier, confirmed the fall has been noted in Bentiu and Unity States. She states that the UN believes many civilians have left the sites and appear to be heading north.

“In Bentiu, we have got 11,000 people who have left the protection site. We are not sure where they are going… but probably not back to their homes, because those people came from southern Unity and now they are heading toward the north. We haven’t got much visibility as to where they are going up north, and that explains reason the figures are going down,” explained Quentier.

In related development, the United States government has announced additional funding of more than $80 million to South Sudan. 

A statement from the US State Department says the money will go towards humanitarian assistance for conflict-affected people in the country, and South Sudanese refugees in the region. 

The money will be channeled through partners to provide emergency health services, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, and hygiene education. It will also provide services for survivors of gender-based violence and malnourished children.

With this additional contribution, the US assistance since the start of the conflict in December 2013 has reached more than 1.3 billion US dollars for vulnerable populations.

However, the humanitarian situation in South Sudan is still deplorable because of ongoing fighting despite the ceasefire declared by both parties.

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