News / Africa

UN Airlifts Emergency Aid to South Sudan

This photo taken on June 15, 2012, at the Jamam refugee camp, shows mothers queueing at a Medecin Sans Frontiere (MSF) field hospital in South Sudan's Upper Nile state, where over 100,000 refugees have fled conflict in Sudan's Blue Nile state since Sept.
This photo taken on June 15, 2012, at the Jamam refugee camp, shows mothers queueing at a Medecin Sans Frontiere (MSF) field hospital in South Sudan's Upper Nile state, where over 100,000 refugees have fled conflict in Sudan's Blue Nile state since Sept.
Lisa Schlein
The U.N. refugee agency is airlifting emergency aid for 50,000 refugees who have fled conflict and food shortages in Sudan’s Blue Nile State.  UNHCR says two daily rotations are bringing basic relief items from South Sudan's capital, Juba, to three remote camps housing the refugees.  

The UNHCR says the airlift includes basic items such as kitchen sets, blankets, sleeping mats and mosquito nets.  The plane also is bringing in equipment for drilling new boreholes.  This is intended to increase the supply of clean water, which is severely lacking in the area.

From Juba, UNHCR Representative in South Sudan Mireille Girard, explains to journalists in Geneva that already difficult road conditions are being made worse by heavy rains.

“The logistics is a nightmare at the moment," she said.  "With the onset of the rain, roads are becoming more and more impassable and some convoys are stranded in the mud for hours and this is a monumental challenge, perhaps the single biggest obstacle to delivering humanitarian assistance for the refugees in both a timely and cost effective manner.”  

Girard says the UNHCR is working around the clock to try to get essential supplies into South Sudan before the rains render it impossible.   

She says the refugees are in a critical state.  She says they have been walking for days and weeks and when they arrive they are suffering exhaustion, dehydration and malnutrition.  She says they come with few belongings and are in need of everything.

UNHCR spokesman in Geneva, Adrian Edwards says at the end of December, the UNHCR airlifted enough supplies to cover the needs of the refugees who had fled to South Sudan from South Kordofan and the Blue Nile.  

He says this was sufficient until two months ago, when escalating fighting in Sudan resulted in a new heavy influx of refugees into South Sudan.  

“With the security and humanitarian conditions deteriorating in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, a growing number of Sudanese have been seeking refuge in South Sudan, exceeding by some way our original planning assumptions," Edwards said.  "In Upper Nile state for example, we planned for 75,000 refugees.  Already there are around 105,000 people who have crossed from Blue Nile.  Further west in Unity state, the Yida refugee settlement currently has more than 55,000 refugees.  This is 15,000 more than a month ago.”  

The UNHCR says it has reports of thousands of Sudanese on their way to the border.  The agency says it has relocated about 10,000 refugees away from the dangerous border areas to safer camps inland.  It says it is continuing to move them at a rate of about 2,000 a day.

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid