Thousands of Sudanese refugees in desperate need of assistance

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Girl digs for water in Jamam refugee camp, South Sudan

A humanitarian crisis is unfolding among tens of thousands of Sudanese refugees who have crossed into Southern Sudan and Ethiopia according the UN refugee agency UNHCR.

Nearly over 200,000 Sudanese refugees who have fled fighting in the Blue Nile State are now being accommodated in refugee camps in South Sudan and Ethiopia.

UNHCR says humanitarian conditions in the camps are worsening by the day with a large number of children suffering from malnutrition.

UNHCR is appealing for donors to support the relief effort whose cost is now estimated at 219 million dollars.

Adrian Edwards from UNHCR says the 45 million dollars so far received for the operation have been exhausted.

"The situation for refugees in South Sudan is among the most critical UNHCR now faces anywhere. We had planned on the basis of a refugee population in South Sudan not exceeding 135,000 people. However, the sharp surge in arrivals in recent weeks in Upper Nile state in particular has seen this figure being exceeded by nearly 30,000 people, and with arrivals continuing at an average rate of 1000 a day. Many of the new arrivals are in desperate condition, and large numbers of children need urgent intervention to address malnourishment. We are very concerned about the growing mortality rates in the refugee camps. Water shortages present a life-threatening risk, particularly for an already weakened population."

Duration 45″

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