UN: UN says conflict forces thousands to flee in Darfur this year

New York, US (PANA) - The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says some 41,000 people have been forced to flee conflict in Sudan's Darfur region, so far this year.

It has also warned that needs for the displaced have been significantly higher because relief agencies have been largely denied access to areas where some of the heaviest fighting is reportedly taking place.

"Humanitarian organizations continue to assess and verify reports of thousands of people forced to flee their homes following clashes between government forces and armed movements in North Darfur state and parts of the Jebel Marra area," UN spokesperson, Mr. Stephane Dujarric told UN reporters on Thursday in New York.

Mr. Dujarric, who spoke on OCHA's weekly humanitarian update on Sudan, said to date, aid organisations had assessed and verified the needs of 41,304 people displaced as a result of this conflict.

He said the number of people in need of assistance and protection may be significantly higher because humanitarian organizations had largely been denied access to parts of Jebel Marra where some of the heaviest fighting is reportedly taking place.

"OCHA continues to call on all parties to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law and to facilitate immediate access for humanitarian organizations to people in need."

The spokesperson also disclosed that the UN World Food Programme (WFP), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) and other humanitarian partners were providing food, water, sanitation supplies and emergency household kits to displaced people in Um Baru and northern El Fasher.

Meanwhile, UNHCR reported that an estimated 120,800 South Sudanese refugees had sought refuge in Sudan after fighting started in South Sudan mid-December 2013 between President Salva Kiir and his former Vice-President, Riek Machar.

The UN refugee agency said over 78,200 of these refugees have received some form of humanitarian assistance, adding that given the increased new arrivals and the establishment of two additional relocation sites in White Nile state, prompt establishment of temporary health services in these new locations was planned.

The South Sudan crisis has uprooted an estimated 1.9 million people inside their country, including nearly 100,000 who have fled to UN bases.
-0- PANA AA/MA 19Feb2015

19 february 2015 22:27:13

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