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Nearly 200,000 South Sudanese refugees in Sudan

October 25 - 2015 KHARTOUM
A South Sudanese mother carries a bag of cereals provided by the WFP in in El Alagaya refugee camp in White Nile state (Ala Kheir/WFP)
A South Sudanese mother carries a bag of cereals provided by the WFP in in El Alagaya refugee camp in White Nile state (Ala Kheir/WFP)

As of 16 October, the total number of South Sudanese who arrived in Sudan has reached 197,942 exceeding the 2015 planning figure of 196,000. A new analysis found that 3.9 million people in South Sudan now face severe food insecurity.

121,928 South Sudanese refugees in Sudan have received some form of humanitarian assistance, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan reported in its latest weekly bulletin.

In the past two weeks, 4,893 South Sudanese arrivals were confirmed, the majority of whom entered through South and West Kordofan (4,544) while only 243 arrived in White Nile State.

The refugee sites have been overwhelmed with the continued influx and basic services and facilities are unable to meet growing needs.

Aid organisations continue to provide humanitarian assistance to South Sudanese refugees arriving in Sudan. Nearly 60 percent of the refugees have settled in seven sites in White Nile state. The refugee sites have been overwhelmed with the continued influx and basic services and facilities are unable to meet growing needs. To help alleviate this problem, the Commissioner of El Salaam locality has identified two new sites, El Neem and El Waral.

Individual registration has resumed in El Alagaya and Dabat Bosin sites on 7 October. In the first four days alone, 1,318 people were registered and daily registrations are increasing, OCHA reports in its bulletin.

A total 11,086 health consultations were given at the seven clinics in the refugee sites. Acute respiratory infection remains the primary cause of attendance at 25 percent of all consultations, followed by malaria with 20 percent and diarrhoeal diseases at 12 percent.

According to the Government’s Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC), more than 5,000 refugees arrived at El Leri village and 2,000 in Suraja village in South Kordofan’s El Leri locality in September, bringing the total number of refugees in the locality to about 14,000.

The new refugees in El Leri are reportedly in need of food, emergency shelter as well as water and sanitation services. Aid organisations in South Kordofan’s capital of Kadugli are planning an inter-agency assessment with the aim of identifying the humanitarian needs in the areas with the highest concentration of newly arrived refugees from South Sudan, near the villages of El Leri, Suraja, Gedid and Gereid.

So far, the refugees received food assistance from the government but have not received any other assistance from aid organisations, because the roads have been impassable due to the rains.

According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), an estimated 218,500 South Sudanese refugees are expected to arrive in the country by the end of the year. UNHCR and partners have started to work on the 2016 Regional Refugee Response Plan for the South Sudan situation on the assumption that the influx will remain substantial in 2016.

Extreme hunger’

The influx of South Sudanese fleeing violence and hunger in their own country may increase as “extreme hunger is pushing people to the brink of a catastrophe in parts of South Sudan”, three UN agencies warned on Thursday. A new analysis found that 3.9 million South Sudanese now face severe food insecurity.

Since the war in South Sudan started nearly two years ago, it is the first time that an food security analysis has found parts of the population in a phase five “catastrophe”.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the UN Children’s Fund (Unicef), and the World Food Programme (WFP) called on the parties to the conflict to “grant urgent and unrestricted access to Unity state, where a newly released Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis shows that at least 30,000 people are living in extreme conditions and are facing starvation and death”.

Since the war in South Sudan started nearly two years ago, it is the first time that an IPC analysis has found parts of the population in a phase five “catastrophe” on the five-point IPC scale.

“This is the start of the harvest and we should be seeing a significant improvement in the food security situation across the country, but unfortunately this is not the case in places like southern Unity state, where people are on the edge of a catastrophe that can be prevented,” said WFP Country Director Joyce Luma.

The IPC highlights that the overall nutrition situation remains critical, with Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) among children under five above the emergency threshold in the conflict-affected states of Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity in September, and high in Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Warrap throughout the year. The high prevalence is attributed to inadequate food consumption, poor maternal and child feeding practices, illnesses and limited delivery of health and nutrition services.

The three agencies – which work on food security and nutrition – warned that the dire economic situation in the country is contributing to record high food prices that significantly affect families’ purchasing power, and worsening levels of food insecurity. Even areas previously unaffected are now showing signs of severe deterioration, with large proportions of the population in the Bahr El Ghazal states in food security crisis.

“Livelihoods have been severely affected by high inflation rates, market disruption, conflict-related displacement, and loss of livestock and agricultural production,” said Serge Tissot, the Head of FAO in South Sudan.

“In addition, looking forward to the completion of the 2015 crop season by the end of the year, a below average cereal production is also expected in Uganda, Sudan and Ethiopia, which will further aggravate the food import bill in South Sudan. By creating ways to support crop, livestock and fish producers the resilience of these communities will be strengthened,” he added.


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