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

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter 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.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid