Number of people in need of assistance is rising
6 June 2012 - CARE scales up emergency assistance; provides water, primary health care and vegetable seeds
Due to continuing conflict between Sudan and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army - North as well as an intensifying food crisis, the number of people seeking refuge in South Sudan is increasing.
“In the Yida refugee camp of Unity State, located directly on the border of both countries, the number of refugees arriving daily rose from 550 to 1,000 people in the past days,” says Peter Avenell, CARE’s Assistant Country Director in South Sudan. “The Yida camp can receive up to 60,000 people, however, that limit can be reached very soon.”
In addition to this influx, thousands of people are arriving in Maban County of Upper Nile State (South Sudan) due to similar conditions of conflict and food insecurity in Blue Nile State (Sudan). Within South Sudan, the total number of people needing emergency assistance is close to 800,000.
This includes refugees from Sudan, South Sudanese who are displaced within their own country due to conflict and food insecurity, and South Sudanese who returned to their home country from Sudan.
“They all need food, water and health support. CARE is scaling up its emergency operation to meet the growing needs and provides primary health care services to the refugee camps in Yida, Pariang and Nyiel. In other areas, we distribute clean water, construct latrines and bathing shelters and conduct hygiene promotion activities for refugees and internally displaced people. In Upper Nile state, 3,000 refugee families received vegetable seeds to grow nutritious vegetables,” Avenell explains.
In Jonglei CARE, with support from AusAID, is reducing the time women spend collecting water for household needs by drilling and rehabilitating boreholes. CARE assists the community in building latrines and building their skills to maintain water points, while promoting peaceful co-existence among communities through improved water, sanitation and hygiene services as well as improved health status and livelihood opportunities.
A growing food crisis is furthermore threatening to affect the lives and livelihoods of South Sudanese. More than one third of South Sudan’s population of eight million will either be severely or moderately food insecure this year. Erratic rainfall, conflict, insecurity, closure of commercial trade with Sudan and the high number of returnees has undermined people’s ability to obtain food.
Since South Sudan’s independence in July last year, the country is experiencing conflict, internal displacement as well as an influx of refugees from Sudan. CARE has been working in the region since 1993, providing health services, water and sanitation, drought intervention and peace building. CARE hopes that the ongoing negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan under the guidance of the African Union and international mediators will lead to final agreements on a range of disputed issues.