UN office calls for more aid agency financing in South Sudan

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The UN spokesperson's office said on Thursday that aid organizations need a financing of 166 million U.S. dollars now to save lives amid continuing violence in South Sudan.

"The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that aid organizations have appealed for 166 million U.S. dollars to address the needs of communities affected by the ongoing fighting and displacement in South Sudan," the UN spokesperson's office told reporters here. "The appeal is a part of the overall requirement of 1.1 billion U.S. dollars needed to help all communities in need in 2014 but is urgently needed now to prioritize emergency aid efforts."

According to the spokesperson's office, the money will be used to provide clean water and sanitation, healthcare, shelter, and deliver food and livelihood assistance, and to manage sites for displaced people and transport aid workers and supplies to strategic locations where communities are most at risk.

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, Toby Lanzer, was quoted as saying that it is crucial that aid agencies have the resources they need to save lives in the coming months.

Deadly clashes have escalated in South Sudan since Dec. 15, following what President Salva Kiir's government claimed was an attempted coup by soldiers loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar, who was dismissed in July.

According to UN, escalating violence has led to hundreds of deaths and the displacement of at least 90,000 people, including 58,000 people who are sheltering in UN peacekeeping bases, in South Sudan, which became an independent state after seceding from Sudan in July 2011.

The UN Security Council on Tuesday authorized almost doubling the peacekeeping forces of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to better protect civilians from violence.

According to the resolution, the UNMISS, which currently has more than 6,800 troops and police in the country, will consist of a military component of up to 12,500 troops of all ranks and of a police component. Endite

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