Sudan: NGO appeals for urgent assistance for thousands of South Sudanese refugees

Khartoum, Sudan (PANA) - An International humanitarian organization has appealed for urgent assistance for thousands of South Sudanese currently fleeing to neighbouring Uganda.

The Norwegian Refugee Council on Tuesday said in a press release that overwhelmed aid agencies in Uganda did not have sufficient resources to respond to South Sudanese refugees spilling across the border, after renewed violence had pushed over 85,000 people into Uganda’s West Nile region since July.

“We are ringing the alarm bell now. Cholera is just one result of us not having resources to decongest reception centres at a quick enough pace,” Hosana Adisu, the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Country Representative in Uganda, said.

“Other diseases like diarrhoea, malaria and respiratory track infections are likely to break out if we cannot step up the support we are giving to new arrivals,” he added, according to the press release received by PANA in Khartoum on Tuesday.

It said several refugee transit centres had massively surpassed their holding capacity. It quoted, as example, the Nyumanzi reception centre in Adjumani, which was set up to accommodate 3,500 people, but now hosted over 8,000 individuals.

The release said the Government of Uganda and UNHCR were establishing eight new refugee settlements. However, the relocation of refugees to these sites was not matching the pace of new arrivals. About 1,700 South Sudanese are arriving in Uganda each day.

“We fear the recent cholera outbreak in Adjumani may spread to other areas including Yumbe, unless urgent measures are taken to contain the outbreak,” continued Adisu. “Fifty-five people have been treated for suspected cholera so far.”

It explained that the new arrivals needed urgent assistance including shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene support.

Reports of sexual violence against people fleeing South Sudan continue, with a large number of children and youth reportedly suffering from psycho-social trauma as a result of sexual abuse and violence.

The release said that while aid agencies were working around the clock to respond to cholera and other rising needs, they could not respond adequately to the unfolding humanitarian crisis without increased funding. The South Sudanese Refugee Response Plan is only 36 per cent funded, of the US$212 million required to meet needs.
-0- PANA MO/MA 23Aug2016

23 august 2016 11:48:59

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