The total number of South Sudanese refugees who have entered Ethiopia since the outbreak of the conflict in mid-December 2013 is now over 193,938 individuals, comprising 191,369 individuals who entered through Gambella and 2,569 who entered through the Assosa region.
The average arrival rate of South Sudanese refugees to the Gambella region has remained low as the rainy season comes to an end.
Registration remains suspended at Akobo and Pagak entry points, while in Burbiey, registration was temporarily halted while the relocation exercise from Matar to Pugnido began. Registration is expected to resume soon.
The relocation exercise from Matar Waystation to Pugnido Camp is ongoing with support from IOM for transport. Thus far, 3,744 refugees have been relocated since the exercise started on 17 November, including 3,595 individuals transported by boat and road while 149 individuals with special needs were transported by helicopter.
In Pugnido, UNHCR has been focussing on the start of the Level II registration exercise for the relocating refugees and the opening of in-camp roads.
Preliminary epidemiological data analysis points to alcohol as the likely cause of the incident in Kule refugee camp between 16-17 November, during which 119 patients were admitted at the MSF-H Kule Health Centre with symptoms including disorientation and vomiting. Individuals aged between 15 and 45 years were the most affected, with females comprising over half of the cases.
One patient died and the rest were discharged on 19 November. While the diagnosis is not yet confirmed, samples of blood from several patients, water and alcohol samples have been taken for further analysis in Addis Ababa.
The 16 Days of Activism to End Violence against Women was launched in all refugee camps on 25 November with the theme of “Addressing Child Marriage”. Dramas depicting GBV situations, cultural performances, and community conversations on the topic of early marriage have all been highlights so far.
Population of concern
A total of 193,938 people of concern