Sudan seeing significant increase in refugees arriving from South Sudan

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has seen a significant increase in South Sudanese refugees fleeing to Sudan since January this year. Initial expectations were that 60,000 refugees may arrive through 2017, but in the first two months alone, over 31,000 refugees arrived.

Refugees are fleeing South Sudan due to unrest and increased food insecurity. Famine has been declared in parts of Unity State in South Sudan in February, indicating a worsening food crisis.

Since December 2013, some 328,339 South Sudanese Refugees have sought refuge in Sudan, including some 131,000 arrivals in 2016. Many refugees have walked for 5 -7 days to reach Sudan, entering on foot exhausted and in poor health, and malnutrition.

We are extremely concerned at people’s condition when they arrive, especially children who are suffering the most,rdquo; stated UNHCR’s Representative, Noriko Yoshida.

Initial estimates show that over 80% of the new arrivals are women and children, including unaccompanied and separated children. They are in need of immediate life-saving assistance, which UNHCR and its sister agencies are trying to address.

At entry points, new arrivals are being transported to sites further inland where they can receive assistance, including emergency food distributions, access water, sanitation and hygiene services, as well as shelter and non-food items such as kitchen sets and jerry cans that allow them to cook and collect water to meet their basic survival needs.

UNHCR’s Representative expressed her profound gratitude to the Sudanese people. What I witness in Sudan is a very generous welcome by local people for South Sudanese refugees. They have shared everything they have, even when they have little to offer.rdquo; She commended Sudan’s authorities for being quick to meet the needs of people arriving, and ensuring there is access to Sudan’s territory.

Source: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).