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NGOs in NBS urged to provide equal support to returnees and refugees

Author: Elsheikh Chol | Published: Saturday, March 30, 2024

Northern Barh El Ghazal

Authorities in Northern Bahr el Gazal State are calling on humanitarian organizations to provide aid to refugees and returnees without discrimination.

According to Garang Zechariah Lual, the State Minister of Information, NGOs operating in the state are only assisting refugees from Sudan in the Wudwill settlement camp in Aweil North.

Garang highlighted that thousands of returnees spread across various Payams are not receiving any aid.

The minister noted that the state has been receiving a daily influx of returnees since the outbreak of war in Sudan in April last year.

Initially, returnees were advised to integrate with local communities and relatives in South Sudan.

Garang believes that the ongoing economic challenges have exacerbated the situation for returnees.

“The international community and NGOs operating in Northern Bahr el Gazal and South Sudan at large, they need to know that the returnees are in dire need of support,” Garang told Eye Radio from Aweil town on Saturday, March 30, 2024.

“Relatives who are hosting returnees are already facing challenges that they cannot even provide for their family. I am urging the international community and NGOs to support returnees coming from Sudan,” he said.

“They come with nothing, if you go to Kiir-Adim where they are coming from, you will see that these people come with nothing.”

Garang expressed concern that the decision of humanitarian agencies to focus solely on assisting refugees will adversely affect the returnees, especially with the rainy season approaching.

“We expected the UN agencies to be supporting like IOM and other NGOs that always support the refugees, but unfortunately, they are doing nothing. They are only supporting the refugees,” said Garang.

“These people are finding it very difficult to cope with the economic situation. The commodity prices are very high in the market and these returnees are coming with nothing,” he said.

“They are supposed to be scattered in the community, but some of them didn’t manage to go to their communities, they are in makeshift camps which is very challenging as we are expecting rain this season.”

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