UN: South Sudan needs $166 million aid

The United Nations needs the money to provide civilians in the conflict-hit country with food, sanitation and camps

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Aid agencies need $166 million over the next three months to help civilians in conflict torn South Sudan, the United Nations said on Wednesday.

The money will be used for health, sanitation and the distribution food in addition to managing camps that were set up to protect civilians during the recent ethnic classes, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a statement.

Aid will also be disbursed to the some 200,000 refugees from Sudan who have fled to the South Sudanese states of Unity and Upper Nile.

"There are at least 90,000 people who have been displaced in the past ten days. This includes 58,000 people who are sheltering in U.N. peacekeeping bases," said U.N. humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan Toby Lanzer in the statement.

"This is an extremely difficult time for the people of this new nation, and it is crucial that aid agencies have the resources they need to save lives in the coming months," he added.

Lanzer said due to the urgency and scale of the crisis, he hoped that donors would “act swiftly,” in donating the necessary funds.

The United Nations claims the death toll from the conflict has reached the thousands since Dec. 15 when South Sudan President Salva Kiir accused former vice president Riek Machar of attempting a coup.

Machar, who has claimed Kiir of becoming increasingly dictorial, denied the claims, saying Kiir was attempting to purge potential political rivals.

The violence between the two leaders pits Machar’s Nuer people against Kiir’s Dinkas, two of the largest tribes in the country, spurring ethnic clashes.

On Tuesday, the UN Security Council voted to send an additional 6,000 peacekeepers to in a bid prevent a potential civil war, but resources are still being organized.

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