Sudan

IOM Steps Up Emergency Assistance To Thousands Displaced By Abyei Events

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IOM is continuing with its emergency assistance to thousands of internally displaced people (IDPs) who have fled the violence in the contested region of Abyei in Sudan.

Up to yesterday, 30th May, IOM had registered 30,642 IDPs, most of them women, children and the elderly. Reports of a further 30,000 IDPs in need of registration are being followed up by IOM through the deployment of mobile registration teams.

IOM has already put in place 44 tracking staff in Turalie, Wunrok and Mayon Abun in Warrap State, south of Abyei, where the majority of IDPs are concentrated and where IOM and humanitarian partners are providing emergency relief.

Another two tracking teams are stationed in Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Unity States to cover displacement there with IDPs found sheltering in makeshift camps in Abienoum in Unity State. A small number have fled to Aweil East and Wau, in Northern and Western Bahr el Ghazal. The tracking system has resulted in the identification of missing and separated children as well as unaccompanied minors.

IOM staff on the ground say the IDPs are in urgent need of shelter, food and sanitation facilities. Most of them have fled Abyei without any belongings. Several cases of severe dehydration and hunger are now being observed, particularly among children. The onset of the rainy season has complicated the situation as many roads have become impassable.

"The humanitarian crisis caused by the Abyei events poses a great danger, particularly to women and children who have to walk for long distances under heavy downpours. Every minute counts in saving their lives," says IOM head of office, Gerry Waite.

IOM is distributing non-food items (NFIs) to the displaced as part of an emergency assistance programme, including supplementing the plastic sheeting provided so that emergency shelters can be constructed.

So far, 60 per cent of all registered displaced have already received NFI assistance with the remaining group expected to receive assistance within a week despite the heavy rains and fuel shortages caused by the blockage of commercial transports between North and South Sudan.

An IOM convoy of 13 trucks is leaving Juba today, 31st May, with 140 drums of fuel to support humanitarian organizations hit by fuel shortages at Aweil, Wau and Wunrok.

For more information, please contact Gerard Waite, IOM Juba, Tel: + 249 922406615 Email: gwaite@iom.int