Sudan: More South Sudanese refugees arrive in Sudan

Khartoum, Sudan (PANA) - The UN refugees agency on Monday said an increased number of South Sudanese are pouring into Sudan, shortly after their nation was declared a famine-hit area.

The UN agency for refugees (UNHCR) says it has noticed a “significant increase” in South Sudanese refugees fleeing to Sudan since last January.

The UNHCR said in a press release that initial expectations were that 60,000 refugees may arrive through 2017 but in the first two months alone over 31,000 refugees have already crossed into the Sudan.

Refugees are fleeing South Sudan due to unrest and increased food insecurity, the UNHCR said, adding that famine has been declared in parts of Unity State in South Sudan in February, indicating a worsening food crisis.

The agency put at 328,339 the number of South Sudanese refugees, about 80% of them children and women, who have walked for 5-7 days to cross into Sudan, suffering exhaustion, poor health and malnutrition.

They are in need of immediate life-saving assistance which, according to the press release, UNHCR and its sister agencies are trying to address.  

“We are extremely concerned at people’s condition when they arrive, especially children who are suffering the most,” UNHCR’s Representative, Noriko Yoshida, was quoted as saying.

The release said at entry points, new arrivals are being transported to sites further inland where they can receive assistance, including emergency food distributions, access water, sanitation and hygiene services, as well as shelter and non-food items such as kitchen sets and jerry cans that allow them to cook and collect water to meet their basic survival needs.

The UNHCR Representative expressed her profound gratitude to the Sudanese people, saying “What I witness in Sudan is a very generous welcome by local people for South Sudanese refugees. They have shared everything they have, even when they have little to offer.”

She commended Sudanese authorities for being quick to meet the needs of people arriving, and ensuring there is access to Sudan’s territory.
-0- PANA MO/VAO 27Feb2017

27 february 2017 15:47:32

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