JUBA/NEW YORK, 12 February 2020 – Critical programmes providing support for children released from armed forces and groups in South Sudan may be forced to end next month if urgently needed funds are not provided, UNICEF warned today.
900 children are already registered for release, but without urgent new funding, UNICEF will not be able to provide support as they transition to civilian life
The three-year reintegration programme costs just US$2,000 per child, providing psychosocial support and a dedicated social worker, family tracing and reunification, education services, and other vital services to help children rebuild their lives.
“The word frustration doesn’t even come close to how I feel about the situation,” said UNICEF’s Representative in South Sudan, Mohamed Ag Ayoya. “Children are registered, verified, and ready to be released, UNICEF has a proven and effective reintegration programme, yet we don’t have the funding to continue this vital work. My grievances are on behalf of the children who are ready to get started on their new lives, reclaiming their childhood.”
With the likely formation of a unified government in South Sudan in February and hopefully prolonged peace, UNICEF expects more children to be released and in need of support. Release of children without sufficient support can lead to long-term repercussions for the children affected and have a destabilizing effect on communities.
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