News / Africa

Sudanese Refugees Fleeing From One Nightmare to Another

Refugees from South Kordofan, Sudan, in the Yida refugee camp in Unity State, South Sudan, Saturday, May 12, 2012.Refugees from South Kordofan, Sudan, in the Yida refugee camp in Unity State, South Sudan, Saturday, May 12, 2012.
x
Refugees from South Kordofan, Sudan, in the Yida refugee camp in Unity State, South Sudan, Saturday, May 12, 2012.
Refugees from South Kordofan, Sudan, in the Yida refugee camp in Unity State, South Sudan, Saturday, May 12, 2012.
Lisa Schlein
GENEVA - United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) says the situation for tens of thousands of Sudanese refugees in South Sudan is now among the most critical faced by refugees anywhere in the world. The UNHCR warns its life-saving operations are at risk because funding to assist an ever-growing refugee population has dried up.  

The UNHCR is caring for 162,500 Sudanese refugees in South Sudan and 36,500 in Ethiopia.  The agency says it expects this number to grow to 235,000 by the end of the year.  It has appealed for nearly $220 million to assist these people.  But, as of now, it has received only about one-fifth of that total.

The UNHCR says the refugee population in Ethiopia appears to have stabilized, whereas the situation in South Sudan is worsening by the day.  It says the number of people fleeing fighting and hunger in Sudan continues to grow.  In recent weeks, it reports there has been a sharp surge of new refugees arriving in the South's Upper Nile State.  And, people continue to come at a rate of about 1,000 a day.  

The UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards says many of the refugees are in desperate condition when they arrive.  He says the number of people dying in the refugee camps from problems related to their ordeal is growing.   

"What you have when you have a population arriving weakened by not having eaten, having survived on…or leaves in some instances," Edwards told VOA. "People are severely malnourished.  You have…risks of diarrhea, when you have diarrhea, the water shortages become a much more acute concern.  So, it really is a very worrying situation.  Clearly there is concern about the possibility of other illnesses and diseases breaking out among this population."   

The rainy season has begun in South Sudan and this poses huge problems for aid agencies trying to transport aid over flooded roads.  The UNHCR began an emergency airlift of basic relief supplies a week ago.  

The most critical need is for clean water.  The UNHCR says water shortages present a life-threatening risk for the refugees.  In an effort to increase the vital water supply, the agency has been flying in heavy equipment to drill boreholes.

Edwards says this has been successful in increasing water supplies in some areas.

"The problem is that people are spread out in different locations," said Edwards. "Some of the locations where most of the people are now arriving do not have that same level of water.  So, this is a really critical situation.  Refugees are fleeing from one nightmare very much into another.  And, we need funds to help us deal with this."   

Edwards says the contributions the UNHCR has received for South Sudan are exhausted.  If more contributions fail to arrive, he says the agency will be forced to take money from other humanitarian operations elsewhere in the world.  He says other refugee communities will have to make do with less, so the life-saving needs of refugees in South Sudan can be met.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs