Posted by: APO | 14 November 2007

SUDAN-Return Operations Require Urgent Funding

SUDAN-Return Operations Require Urgent Funding – IOM operations to voluntarily return thousands of internally displaced people (IDPs) to their former homes in South Sudan restarting late November will only last until the end of the year unless additional funding can be found urgently.


The Organization has already assisted more than 64,500 South Sudanese IDPs to return to their homes since 2005 by land, barge and air as part of the Joint Return Plan of the Government of National Unity (GoNU), the Government of South Sudan (GoSS), the UN and IOM.


Emergency funding of US$2 million from the Common Humanitarian Fund set up for humanitarian operations in Sudan and additional funding by USAID is allowing IOM to recommence voluntary returns of IDPs to and within South Sudan in the coming weeks.


About 3,500 IDPs will be helped to return to Southern Kordofan, Kordofan, Unity and Upper Nile States from Khartoum by road and 1,000 IDPs by barge from to Malakal in Upper Nile State .. Another 1,500 IDPs currently displaced in Nimule, Eastern Equatoria State, will also be assisted home to Jonglei State.  Funds will also be used to organize the registration of other IDPs bound for Jonglei as well as to improve facilities at a departure centre in Khartoum and four ways stations along the route to South Sudan.


However, IOM is urgently appealing for a further US$4 million to begin the implementation of priority returns home scheduled for early 2008. Funds would be used to establish a logistics structure, and to re-establish or refurbish departure centres and way stations that were either dismantled or damaged during the rainy season this year and which also need to be built in Sudan’s northern states as well as in Juba, Tortag, Gogrial, Warawar and Wau in the South.


“There are almost 100,000 IDPs who are to be provided return assistance under the UN/IOM portion of the Joint Return Plan for 2008. Clearly the lack of even minimal funding at this critical stage when the preparation and organization for the returns should already be in place puts a major question mark on this being possible,” said IOM Chief of Mission, Mario Tavolaj.


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