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$8.6 million aid plea to help refugees

Published: 15-JUN-05

Action by Churches Together (ACT), a global alliance supporting communities in emergencies, has appealed for nearly US $8.6 million to help thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugee returning to southern Sudan.

" The returnees are returning empty handed. This places extra demands on the limited local food supplies due to erratic rains last year. There are few amenities in healthcare, schools or clean drinking water points," ACT claimed.

Since the signing of a peace agreement that ended two decades of civil war in southern Sudan. The IDPs and refugees have been streaming back at a rate of 1,500 every day.

Former rebels of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army and the Sudanese government signed the agreement on 9 January in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

ACT said the money would be used on health care, education, agriculture, water, transport and poverty alleviation programmes.

There are about four million IDPs in Sudan, 3.5 million of whom are southerners living in the north of the country. They are mainly housed in IDP camps on the peripheries of the cities of Khartoum and Omdurman, according to ACT.

It is estimated that there are another 500,000 southern Sudanese refugees in the neighbouring countries of the Central African Republic, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and Uganda.

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