Donors pledge $352 million to help Uganda deal with refugee influx

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Donors have pledged about $352 million to help Uganda cope with the influx of refugees fleeing conflict in South Sudan.

Uganda needs about $2 billion to help deal with the huge refugee population it has received.

The East African country is playing host to around 1.3 million refugees, 950,000 of whom have come from war-torn South Sudan.

Most of the South Sudanese are crammed into about five camps in Uganda’s northwest. One of them, Bidi Bidi is among the world’s largest refugee settlements, hosting about 270,000 people.

“I don’t think anyone ever anticipated that we would be dealing with one million refugees out of South Sudan alone,” Reuters reports David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Programme, to say.

Beasley said that Uganda will run out of food aid for the refugees if it does not get more help.

South Sudan has been in turmoil since December 2013 following President Salva Kiir’s accusation that his then-deputy Riek Machar was plotting a coup against 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 UN ranks the world’s youngest nation as Africa’s biggest refugee crisis, and third worldwide after Syria and Afghanistan.

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