EU pledges $95 million to help fund relief operations for refugees in Uganda

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The European Union has offered about $95 million to help fund relief operations for the hundreds of thousands of refugees that continue to stream into Uganda from neighbouring South Sudan, it said in a statement.

The announcement comes a day before a crucial meeting to be held in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, aimed at raising some $2 billion to plug funding shortages for the East African country’s surging refugee population.

The money will be directed towards funding the refugee operations for 12 months beginning June.

Uganda currently hosts about 1.3 million refugees, around 950,000 of whom have arrived from war-torn South Sudan.

“Many refugees have fled conflict in South Sudan, seeking sanctuary from violence, hatred and hunger. Uganda’s example of helping vulnerable people cope with displacement is an example for the whole region and the world,” Christos Stylianides, the EU’s commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management, said in a statement.

South Sudan descended into war in December 2013 following President Salva Kiir’s allegations that his then-deputy Riek Machar was plotting to overthrow his government. Machar denied the allegations but then went on to mobilize a rebel force to fight the government.

A peace deal signed in 2015 has continually been violated by the warring factions.

The United Nations earlier this year ranked South Sudan as Africa’s biggest refugee crisis, and third worldwide after Syria and Afghanistan.

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