Fighting along with humanitarian suffering did not cease since the internal conflict break out in December 2013. Rounds of intensified fighting during 2016 has led to an increase in the number of displaced persons. Displaced persons coming from South Sudan is considered the largest displaced group in Africa. As of March 2017, more than 1.9 million people are internally displaced in South Sudan and more than 1.7 million people are seeking refuge in neighboring five countries, including Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Democratic Republic of Congo.
Among all countries, Uganda has received the highest number of refugees coming from South Sudan and the influx rate is increasing rapidly in 2017. Uganda is now hosting over 852,000 South Sudanese refugees, 5 times more than 2016. 86% of the refugee population are vulnerable women and children under 18 years old.
According to the joint assessment by Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) and the International Red cross, the refugee settlements for South Sudanese refugees in Uganda have been overcrowded and the access to sanitation facilities, hand wash facilities and health care services are inadequate. Increase of refugees has caused burden on the fragile infrastructure, risk of communicable diseases at the hosting areas remains high, including malaria and measles.
Red Cross Actions
The International Red Cross is seeking a total of HK$1.4 billion globally to support the South Sudan refugees and displaced persons in South Sudan, Uganda, Sudan and Ethiopia. From January 2016 to April 2017, the International Red Cross has reached almost 2.8 million people in these four countries.
1.15 million people have received food parcels or cash to procure food.
307,000 people have received essential family household items.
769,000 people have received livelihood supports.
363,000 people have improved access to water resources.
6,000 people have improved access to latrine and sanitation facilities and received health education.
78,000 detainees have been visited and benefited with therapeutic feeding.
46 families separated in the crisis and population movement have been reunited through the restore family link services.
Over 121,000 written messages and calls have been proceeded.
Hong Kong Red Cross Actions
In views of the rapid deteriorating situation in Uganda due to the increased population movement, Hong Kong Red Cross has recently contributed HK$200,000 to provide the safe water, enhance hygiene facilities and health services in 3 refugee settlements in Uganda through the International Red Cross.
HKRC has been supporting the operation since early 2014. Since then, HKRC has allocated HK$376,450 to support operations inside South Sudan and those fed to Ethiopia through the International Red Cross.
The Hong Kong Red Cross continues to monitor the situation in coordination with the International Red Cross.