Safety, food, healthcare and education – refugee children who have fled turmoil in South Sudan urgently need all of these things. Thanks to a €320,000 grant from the IKEA Foundation, Save the Children will provide them for thousands of vulnerable children.
Fighting and a lack of basic services in South Sudan have forced hundreds of thousands of families to make the heartbreaking decision to leave their homes in search of safety. Since July, over 330,000 people have sought that safety in neighbouring Uganda, but the sudden arrival of so many people is straining services there and putting children’s futures at risk.
Save the Children has grown particularly concerned about the health and well being of children in Uganda’s Bidibidi refugee settlement, which the United Nations Refugee Agency has declared one of the largest refugee-hosting areas in the world. Women and children make up 85 per cent of new arrivals at Bidibidi, and more settlements are opening as refugees continue to arrive.
Thanks to the IKEA Foundation’s grant, Save the Children and its partners will work in Bidibidi, and possibly other settlements, to
- create child-friendly spaces where children can find safety, learn about their rights and continue their educations
- establish mother-and-baby areas where staff can ensure infants and young children get the nutritious breastmilk or food they need
- give children psychosocial support so they can learn to cope with the traumas they have experienced
- reunite children with their families if they have become separated in the chaos, or place children with responsible caregivers if their families can’t be found.
Shambhavi Sharma, Programme Manager at the IKEA Foundation, said: “So many children from South Sudan have lost everything near and dear to them—their homes, their sense of safety and, in some cases, their families. We are happy to support Save the Children’s work to give these children the care and support they need most at a time of such turmoil and uncertainty.”
“Save the Children is deeply concerned about the rapidly changing situation in South Sudan. Uganda is already a generous host of refugees from the region, and with our established presence in Bidibidi, we are grateful for the IKEA Foundation’s confidence in our plans to reach as many children as possible with urgent care and quality education. No child should miss out on their education because they have been forced to flee their homes,” said Daniele Timarco, Global Humanitarian Director, Save the Children.