CARE is scaling up emergency assistance; providing water, primary health care and vegetable seeds.
The number of people seeking refuge in the new state of South Sudan is increasing. Conflict between the Sudanese state and rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army, alongside an intensifying food crisis is causing many to flee.
“In the Yida refugee camp in Unity State, located 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 thousands of people are arriving elsewhere in South Sudan due to similar conditions of conflict and food insecurity in Blue Nile State (Sudan).
Close to 800,000 require assistance
The total number of people needing emergency assistance in South Sudan is close to 800,000. This includes refugees from Sudan, South Sudanese people displaced within their own country due to conflict and difficulty accessing food, and those who have returned home from Sudan after the partition.
“They all need food, water and health support.” Peter Avenell explains.
“CARE is scaling up its emergency operation to meet these growing needs. We are providing 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,
“In Jonglei CARE is reducing the time women spend collecting water for their families by drilling and rehabilitating boreholes. CARE is assisting local people to build latrines and building their skills to maintain water points.”
Growing food crisis
A growing food crisis is threatening to affect the lives and livelihoods of people in South Sudan. More than one third of South Sudan’s population of eight million will either be severely or moderately food insecure, meaning they have unpredictable access to food, 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 has been experiencing conflict, internal displacement, and an influx of refugees from Sudan. CARE has been working in the region since 1993, providing health services, water and sanitation, drought intervention and peacebuilding. 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.