Floods in South Sudan affect more than 400,000

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About 426,000 people, including 185,000 children, have been affected and displaced in South Sudan by severe floods that drowned homes and farms, the UN humanitarian agency said on Tuesday.

Emergency workers have used canoes and boats to reach people cut off by the flood, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a briefing, warning that more heavy rains and floods are expected in the coming months.

The rain “has exacerbated the vulnerability of communities, with many people displaced by the floods seeking refuge in churches and schools,” the agency said.

Rescue teams have also fought to help about 25,000 people in Warrap, a northwestern state plagued by deadly conflict between rival ethnic groups.

Rising water triggered by early seasonal rainfall has toppled farmland, killed livestock and destroyed thin thatched roofs, a year after record streams affected about 700,000 people.

About 100,000 of those displaced in last year’s disaster have still not returned home, OCHA said.

In addition to the fact that care facilities were damaged or destroyed by the floods, 113 schools have also been affected, which puts children’s education at risk, it warned.

OCHA warned last month of limited supplies and a lack of funding, saying it had received only 54% of the $ 1.7 billion needed to pay for programs in the country.

Lack of funding has also forced the UN Food Program to suspend food aid to more than 100,000 displaced people in South Sudan, the agency said earlier this month, warning of further cuts if it did not receive more money.

Four out of five of South Sudan’s 11 million people live in “absolute poverty”, according to the World Bank 2018, while more than 60% of the population suffers from severe hunger due to the combined effects of conflict, drought and floods.

Since independence from Sudan in 2011, the young nation has undergone a chronic economic and political crisis and is struggling to recover from a five-year civil war that left nearly 400,000 people dead.

Although a ceasefire and power-sharing agreement between 2018 between President Salva Kiir and his deputy Riek Machar is still largely being tested, with little progress in meeting the terms of the peace process.

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