Statement attributable to the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Mr Ali Al-Za’tari, on influx of refugees from South Sudan in the Abyei area

Khartoum, 30 April 2014. The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Mr. Ali Al-Za’tari, expressed concern over an increasing number of people from South Sudan seeking refuge in the Abyei area. Over the past few days, at least 3,000 people have arrived in a number of locations in Abyei after fleeing violence in Unity State, South Sudan. These newly arrived people from South Sudan join an estimated 3,000 people who sought shelter in the area earlier this year.

"This is a sizeable influx of people representing a critical increase in the humanitarian needs in the Abyei area given the size of its population,” said Mr. Al-Za’tari.

While the total of 6,000 people from South Sudan seeking shelter in the Abyei area may be small compared to the number of people displaced by the conflict in South Sudan, this most recent influx combined with earlier arrivals is increasing pressure on existing resources, including access to water. It is feared that the host communities will not be able to accommodate the new arrivals.

Prior to the influx of people from South Sudan, at least 35,000 people in the Abyei area were estimated to be in need of humanitarian assistance.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.