Government appeals to donors to invest in self-reliance and livelihood activities

The minister of humanitarian affairs and disaster management, Albino Akol Atak appealed to development partners to invest in self-reliance and livelihood activities, particularly agriculture.

By Benjamin Takpiny

The minister of humanitarian affairs and disaster management, Albino Akol Atak appealed to development partners to invest in self-reliance and livelihood activities, particularly agriculture.

Akol revealed these remarks last week during the Global Refugee Forum held in Geneva, Switzerland.

He appealed to the development partners to establish employment schemes for skilled refugees and returnees and also utilize the potential human capital in South Sudan.

Akol said the government needs support to provide basic services, to invest in road infrastructure particularly between Renk-Malakal- Maban routes as those fleeing are unable to move from border points.

 He also emphasized the need to invest in local economies, as supply routes from Sudan have been disrupted.

South Sudan has received close to 70,000 refugees from Sudan, the vast majority of them in the past two months alone.

 The numbers are increasing with more than 2,000 people crossing the border on daily basis.

“Our humanitarian partners are doing everything they can to help, but the situation is dire. We are unable to provide basic services and treat simple illness, prevent hunger and help people settle in safe locations,” said Akol in a statement published on the Facebook page of Humanitarian Ministry .

 “As we face this crisis, with no end in sight, humanitarian funding is drastically reduced and we expect more cuts in food rations to refugees next year, less possibility for partners to provide decent shelters that would permit refugees to live in dignity. Worse, with the attention of the world elsewhere, we risk a crisis within a crisis,” he added. 

Akol thanked the World Bank for expanding the Resilient Agricultural Livelihoods Project to target 3,550 returnees, refugees, households and 1450 host households as part of beneficiaries of the project. 

He also praised the European Union International Partnerships which is supporting the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to bridge the response to mid- long term needs such as housing land property, access to basic services, livelihoods for refugees and returnees in Malakal, Bentiu  and Awiel. 

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