£250,000 Pledged to Support Refugees Escaping Conflict Zones

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In the heart of a crisis that has swept across Sudan and spilled over its borders, affecting countless lives in neighboring countries, the Scottish Government has stepped forward with a beacon of hope. International Development Minister Kaukab Stewart has announced a significant pledge of £250,000 from the Scottish Government to support the critical work of charities on the ground, specifically targeting the dire needs of refugees and their host communities in South Sudan and Ethiopia. This substantial funding is part of the Scottish Government’s Humanitarian Emergency Fund (HEF), a vital resource aimed at providing rapid aid in times of crisis.

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The beneficiaries of this funding, Oxfam and Christian Aid, are at the forefront of the humanitarian response in the region. Their efforts are focused on providing essential support to displaced individuals and communities who find themselves caught in the crossfire of conflict and the harsh realities of displacement. South Sudan, a nation still reeling from its own internal strife, has become a reluctant host to over half a million people fleeing the violence in Sudan since last year. The situation is similarly grim in Ethiopia, where the number of refugees and asylum seekers has soared to more than 930,000, including over 385,000 South Sudanese in the Gambella region alone. Here, the challenges of meeting basic needs have led to a distressing rise in malnutrition and diarrhoea among the refugee population.

Minister Stewart’s words resonate with a sense of urgency and compassion, emphasizing the bleak and uncertain future faced by thousands of refugees in South Sudan. She underlines the importance of the £250,000 funding in addressing the immediate needs of those affected by the twin calamities of conflict and climate crisis, including access to shelter, food, clean water, and healthcare. This commitment, Stewart asserts, reflects a broader responsibility to work alongside the international community to alleviate suffering and aid in the rebuilding of lives torn asunder by conflict.

The impact of this funding is tangible, with Val Brown, Head of Christian Aid Scotland, detailing how the aid will reach 4,000 individuals in the Wedweil Refugee Camp in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State. This assistance will not only provide food and essentials but also offer additional cash support to 400 vulnerable women and girls, empowering them towards recovery. Jamie Livingstone, Head of Oxfam Scotland, further commends the Scottish Government’s decision to allocate funds to crises that, though they may not dominate headlines, require urgent humanitarian attention. Oxfam’s efforts in the Gambella region, particularly in making water and sanitation facilities safer and more accessible, underscore a commitment to inclusive and locally-led humanitarian responses.

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