News / Africa

S. Sudan Refugee Camp Braces for New Arrivals

S. Sudan Refugee Camp Braces for New Arrivalsi
|| 0:00:00
X
Michael Onyiego
October 05, 2012 6:40 PM
Conditions at the Yida refugee camp in South Sudan have improved - after a wave of new arrivals, disease and death. But as the rainy season ends, the camp is bracing for another wave of challenges that could overwhelm the humanitarian community. VOA's Michael Onyiego has more from South Sudan.
Michael Onyiego
Conditions at the Yida refugee camp in South Sudan have improved - after a wave of new arrivals, disease and death.  But as the rainy season ends, the camp is bracing for another wave of challenges that could overwhelm the humanitarian community.

Things are calmer now at the main hospital in South Sudan's Yida refugee camp.  The hospital is run by Doctors Without Borders (MSF).  Many beds in this makeshift tent hospital are still full, but according to MSF, the situation is finally manageable.
 
From mid-June through mid-July, a wave of disease hit the camps, sending mortality rates soaring.  This was coupled with a rush of new refugees, as many as 1,000 per day.  
 
Since then, the situation has improved.  At one of three Outreach Therapeutic Program centers, refugees come in for nutrition monitoring and evaluation.  Mothers receive special food rich in vitamins and nutrients to keep their children healthy.  The lines are still long, but MSF says the refugees are generally less malnourished.
 
"Now there is need," said Marie, a nurse with MSF in charge of this clinic.  "It's not so catastrophic like it was in July.  But it's very— it can change quickly.  If malaria comes, if cholera comes or if more people come, very quickly, it can be like in July."

The refugees at Yida come from the heart of Sudan's South Kordofan State.  Fighting broke out in June of last year between the government and the rebel SPLA-North, which was part of South Sudan's own rebel SPLA during the Sudanese civil war.
 
The camp now has more than 65,000 refugees who fled intense fighting and aerial bombardments by Sudanese warplanes.
 
New arrivals say fresh fighting will soon drive many more over the border into South Sudan.  Yusif al-Farik, 40, arrived with his daughter just days ago.  He says they left their home when Sudanese troops started shelling the area.

"They are just shooting randomly," said al-Farik.  "Maybe they are targeting an SPLA-North position.  But the shell doesn't hit that area, it hits the houses of the people there and wounds them."
 
The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) is now registering fewer than 200 new arrivals per day.  Officials say the rainy season cut off the roads from South Kordofan, preventing more from coming.
 
Those same rains have made it impossible to get food into the camps by road.  For the past few weeks, the World Food Program has been forced to deliver food by air.  The planes make six runs every day, dropping around 64 metric tons a day from the sky.
 
The drops have proved a critical lifeline for the refugees, and WFP says they should last until the end of the year.
 
But officials say the drops may need to be extended if more refugees arrive after the rainy season.  UNHCR says as many as 15,000 could come by the end of December.  If that happens, resources will be spread dangerously thin, and the Yida camp could face another crisis.

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid