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S. Sudan students’ body in Kenya urges govt to add those studying on their own to emergency funds

South Sudanese students in an unidentified location in South Sudan (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

April 5, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) — South Sudan students association in Kenya has urged the government back home to consider adding those studying on their own to the emergency funds provided by the government to South Sudanese students in COVID-19 hit countries.

Last month, the government’s coronavirus taskforce allocated $3 million to South Sudanese studying studying on government scholarship in foreign countries to cope with effects of the pandemic.

The classification of the fund for those studying under government scholarship sparked anger among other students who study in foreign countries on their own.

“As COVID-19 continues to threaten lives across the globe, the Taskforce proposed $ 3 million as an emergency fund for South Sudanese Students in the affected countries regardless of their statuses(Government sponsored or self sponsored)however, comrades were shocked and surprised this week with change of tune from Hon.Deny Jock Chagor, The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology,” the statement signed by chairman Tom Gatdel partly reads.

“While briefing the media this week, the minister was spotted saying and I quote “that the money proposed by Taskforce for COVID-19 was meant as upkeep in order to alleviate suffering and straightening of the plights of Gov’t Sponsored Students in the affected countries” hence we took this only as discrimination or biasness from Honorable Minister but a total disregard to humanity,” the statement said.

“It is worth noting that Kenya and Uganda have the highest number of Students (Approximated 8,000 in both Countries)and cases of COVID-19 are increasing day and night,but the R-TGONU seems to have abandoned this potential leaders, medical Doctors, Engineers, Economists etc to perish from COVID-19 or consequences it generated under the pretext of being self sponsored.

“With clarity and precision, it is important to note that this message intends to inform the President, the 1st vice president, collegial presidency and the Taskforce for COVID-19 that most of students are running short of basic needs in the hostels e.g hands rub or sanitisers and masks which are increasingly being rendered as basic mandatory requirements for safety in Kenya, while keeping in mind that food and other basic needs such as water are too subject to purchasing.

“It is with sense of urgency that I urge the Taskforce for COVID-19 and the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology to reconsider their decision and come up with fair criteria in distribution of $ 3 million to accommodate all Students abroad.

“In conclusion, I call upon students from all walks of life to stand firm and support the team and I in this quest for recognition and inclusion to the list of the beneficiaries of the $ 3 million earmarked for the upkeep of students in the COVID-19 affected countries.

“I also urge all comrades to observe the precautiouns during this tough moment and it is my prayer that that Almighty God through His powerful Angels protects all the South Sudanese during this critical time! The Taskforce too should be blessed handfully.”

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