South Sudan

Number of South Sudanese Refugees Hits 1 Million Mark

South Sudanese refugees gather at a UNHCR collection centre on the South Sudan border in Egelo, Uganda (Photo:  UNHCR /Will Swanson)

The number of South Sudanese refugees sheltering in neighboring countries has this week passed the 1 million mark, viagra approved http://crcpallc.com/templates/uneedo_j25/warp/systems/joomla/layouts/com_contact/categories/default.php including more than 185, prostate http://cusanus-studierende.de/wp-admin/includes/image-edit.php 000 people who have fled since fresh violence erupted in the country in Juba on July 8.

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) revealed on Friday, that with this milestone, South Sudan joins Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia as countries which have produced more than a million refugees.

Most of the recent arrivals have crossed into Uganda (143,164), but a surge of people have entered western Ethiopia’s Gambella region in the past week and others have been heading to Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Central African Republic.

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The Refugees body is happy that these countries have commendably kept their doors open to the new arrivals.

The violence which broke out in July has shattered hopes for a real breakthrough and triggered new waves of displacement and suffering, while humanitarian organizations are finding it difficult for logistical, security and funding reasons to provide urgent protection and assistance to the hundreds of thousands in need, including 1.61 million internally displaced people.

According to UNHCR, most of those fleeing South Sudan are women and children. They include survivors of violent attacks, sexual assault, children that have been separated from their parents or travelled alone, the disabled, the elderly and people in need of urgent medical care.

Uganda is hosting the lion’s share of South Sudanese refugees, with 373,626, more than a third of them arriving since early July.

“They keep coming; over the past week more than 20,000 new arrivals were recorded, primarily through the Oraba crossing in the northwest. New arrivals report increased fighting across the Greater Equatoria region and attacks by armed groups that kill civilians, loot villages, sexually assault women and girls, and recruit young boys. Many refugees arrive exhausted after days walking in the bush and going without food or water. Many children have lost one or both of their parents, some forced to become primary caregivers to younger siblings,” the commission said in a statement.

A surge of people, more than 11,000, many of them from the Nuer tribe, have crossed into Gambella during the past week, bringing the number of South Sudanese refugees in that country to more than 292,000.

Neighboring Sudan hosts the third largest number of South Sudanese refugees, 247,317, and people continue to come to the country’s East Darfur, South Darfur and White Nile states.

Smaller numbers have been fleeing to Kenya, DR Congo and Central African Republic since the return to conflict in July. About 300 people a week have been crossing into Kenya, citing insecurity, economic instability and drought and reporting that the flight corridor between Torit and Kapoeta remains dangerous due to armed bandits. Kenya has over 90,000 South Sudanese refugees.

The DR Congo is currently experiencing an influx into Ituri province close to the border with South Sudan and Uganda. An estimated 40,000 South Sudanese refugees are said to be in the country and we are continuing registration.

UNHCR field staff report that new arrivals are camped in schools and churches, while the less fortunate sleep in the open. Refugees lack food and basic household items. An estimated 5% of the children are unaccompanied, and many women and girls said they were sexually assaulted during their flight. Early this month, refugees near the city of Doruma (Haut-Uele province) were attacked, their food rations stolen, and a health centre looted by unknown attackers.

Insecurity in South Sudan’s Central Equatoria has also significantly affected UNHCR’s ability to access and assist thousands of refugees inside South Sudan itself. In Lasu settlement, some 40 km south of Yei, nearly 10,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Central African Republic and Sudan have not received their monthly food rations since late June this year.

Without further funding and support, the UNHCR said it together with partners will struggle to assist the needy with even the most basic assistance.

UNHCR is calling on donors to provide US$701 million for South Sudan refugee operations, of which 20% has been funded.

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