Ethiopia: UNHCR Operational Update, 26 June – 3 July 2014
The total number of South Sudanese refugees who have entered Ethiopia since the outbreak of the conflict in mid-December 2013 is now over 158,000 individuals, with the number continuing to increase daily. The asylum seekers continue to arrive in Ethiopia through the Gambella Regional State, mainly through Burbiey, Pagak and Akobo border-entry points, citing security as the main reason for their flight.
The refugees continue to be relocated from the border entry points to the camps with support from UNHCR’s partner IOM. IOM is now increasing the numbers of refugees being relocated from the entry points: a large movement was conducted by IOM on 3 July, with 1,704 individuals relocated from Pagak to Kule 2 camp in the course of the day. During the month of June 2014, IOM relocated 28,329 refugees, with elderly, sick and disabled new arrivals continuing to be prioritised in the relocation movements together with families with malnourished family members and children.
The majority of new arrivals come from Upper Nile State (mainly the areas of Nasir, Mathiang, Maiwut, Akobo and Renk) and are predominantly from the Gajaak, Gajiok and Lou Nuer tribes, with a smaller number from Equatorial tribes. Most new arrivals cite food insecurity as their main reason for flight.
In addition to ongoing provision of services and activities in the camp, UNHCR Ethiopia is focusing on the search for land for development as a fourth camp, the movement of sites to higher ground in preparation for the rainy season and close monitoring of health conditions as well as mitigation measures and scaling up of WASH services and hygiene promotion to preclude possible outbreaks of Yellow Fever, cholera or Hepatitis E.
The helicopter contracted by UNHCR and UNHAS remains in Gambella and continues to provide vital support to partners and staff as well as transporting vulnerable refugees from entry points to the camps.
The rainy season has begun in the Gambella Region.
The Nutrition Survey is complete in Kule 1 and Leitchuor. The data is being analysed and results will be shared shortly.
UNHCR and health partners are investigating cases of Acute Jaundice Syndrome reported in Leitchuor and Kule 1 Camps, and remain alert regarding the possibility of Yellow Fever and Hepatitis E. With 130 cases of suspected jaundice reported, 22 samples have been taken from patients and transferred to Addis Ababa for analysis with official results pending.