South Sudanese refugee influx in Sudan ‘an emergency within an emergency’ – UN

South Sudanese queue to be registered in Sudan. With ID cards they will be able to access many rights. Photo: UNHCR

South Sudanese queue to be registered in Sudan. With ID cards they will be able to access many rights. Photo: UNHCR

South Sudan, 15 June 2015 – The United Nations refugee agency reported today that some 14,000 South Sudanese – mainly women and children – have fled into Sudan over the weekend, describing the situation as “an emergency within an emergency.”

“The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has registered close to 160,000 refugees in Sudan since fighting broke out in South Sudan in December 2013,” stated UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric during the daily briefing to the press at UN Headquarters in New York.

A key priority for the humanitarian community, he added, is to prepare for the upcoming rainy season, which is due to start in the coming weeks and will further complicate operations.

“Rapid scaling up of water, sanitation and hygiene interventions is critical as rains will also heighten the risk of water-borne diseases such as dysentery and cholera.”

So far only 10 per cent of the $152 million requested to assist South Sudanese refugees in Sudan has been contributed.

Meanwhile, the humanitarian situation in their country has deteriorated significantly over the past two months with the intensification of military operations in Upper Nile and Unity states, reminded the Spokesperson.

It is estimated that by July some 4.6 million people could be severely food insecure – the highest number since the beginning of the crisis.

The security situation in South Sudan has deteriorated steadily over the past year since political in-fighting between President Salva Kiir and his former Vice-President, Riek Machar, and their respective factions erupted in December 2013. The hostilities subsequently turned into a full-fledged conflict that has caused more than 110,000 civilians to seek safety on bases belonging to the UN Mission in country (UNMISS).