The United Nations is asking members for $1.7 billion to fund South Sudan humanitarian aid.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says the funding would help 6.8 million South Sudanese, according to its South Sudan deputy, Annette Hearns.

“We estimate there’s 8.9 million people whose needs are assessed against a humanitarian requirement,” Hearns said. “They have health needs [or] they don’t have enough access to safe drinking water. As humanitarians, there is no way we can provide all the support that’s needed for everyone, everywhere. Of that 8.9 million, we’re going to do our best to target 6.8 million people.”

Of the total, $230 million would target malnourished children, pregnant women, and nursing mothers. Another $650 million would provide basic food assistance and livelihood support, and $54 million would support children’s education.

“There’s more than 2 million people who have been forced to leave their homes in South Sudan and some of these are people who were displaced in years past, including from flooding in 2020 and 2021, and their areas of origin are still not accessible for them to go home,” Hearns told South Sudan in Focus.

“Some of the people told us they fled [violence] with [only] the clothes they’re wearing. When the flooding happens, it’s the same,” Hearns added.

Sometimes, she said, the families are able “to grab a blanket or a knife so they can move and go elsewhere, but not always.”

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