0550 GMT February 18, 2018
The UN refugee agency and the World Food Programme had earlier asked for $1.2 billion to support more than 1.8 million people fleeing fighting. But even that was only 14 percent funded, the agencies said in a joint statement, Reuters reported.
"The suffering of the South Sudanese people is just unimaginable ... They are close to the abyss," WFP Executive Director David Beasley said.
“Bitter conflict and deteriorating humanitarian conditions in South Sudan are driving people from their homes in record numbers,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.
The situation in South Sudan continues to worsen – with a combination of conflict, drought and famine leading to further displacement and a rapid exodus of people fleeing one of the world’s most severe crises.
“The suffering of the South Sudanese people is just unimaginable,” said WFP Executive Director David Beasley.
“Violence is at the root of this crisis. Aid workers often cannot reach the most vulnerable hungry people. Many are dying from hunger and disease, many more have fled their homeland for safety abroad,” the WFP executive director said.
South Sudan has now become the world’s fastest-growing refugee crisis, with more than 1.8 million refugees – including one million children – having sought safety in Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Central African Republic.
The current rate of people fleeing South Sudan exceeds the humanitarian community’s already pessimistic estimates. For example, the number of people fleeing to Sudan in March surpassed the expected figure for the entire year. Uganda is also seeing higher than expected arrivals and at this rate is likely to soon host over one million South Sudanese refugees.
UNHCR welcomed the outstanding generosity refugees have received in South Sudan’s neighboring countries, but is alarmed by a situation which is now critical.
With acute underfunding, humanitarian agencies are struggling to provide food, water, nutrition support, shelter and health services to refugees.
Communities hosting refugees are among the world’s poorest and are under immense pressure.