AfDB, UNHCR Partner To Support Refugees In South Sudan

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) have said they would be partnering to support displaced people and their host communities in South Sudan.

Since the start of the war in neighbouring Sudan last year, over half a million people have arrived in the country, where resources are already overstretched.

Most of the arrivals were South Sudanese who had been in Sudan for decades and many are heading back to villages that barely have any services and where there is no humanitarian assistance available.

Senior officials from the AfDB and the UNHCR, paid a joint visit to Gendrassa Refugee Camp in South Sudan’s Upper Nile State.

Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, the Bank’s Vice President for Regional Development, Integration and Business Delivery, and Raouf Mazou, UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Operations, met with government authorities, refugees and members of the host community.

“We have decided to partner with the UNHCR because as part of the bank strategy for addressing fragility and helping to build resilience in countries, one of the tenants is to leave no one behind.

“We are extremely, and I think the international community should be, very grateful to the government of South Sudan for their open policy in welcoming more refugees who are coming.” says Akin-Olugbade.

“What we’ve seen is that there are a lot of opportunities, a lot of projects that they could be funding,” says Mazou.

“These are the kind of things that we humanitarian actors cannot fund. But [the] African Development Bank and other development actors can actually [fund].” Mazou added.

The visit by the organisations comes in the context of strengthened collaboration between humanitarian and development actors globally.

The two sectors have recognised the need in recent years to work more closely with one another.