UNHCR seeking more camps for South Sudanese refugees in East Africa

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Evening approaches at the Dzaipi transit centre in northern Uganda, where UNHCR has erected tents for many of the refugees. UNHCR/F.Noy

The number of South Sudanese refugees crossing into neighbouring countries, is expected to exceed 100,000 by the end of January, according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR.

Since mid-December, when the conflict erupted in South Sudan, over 86,000 South Sudanese have crossed into Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya.

UNHCR teams are working to establish a number of new camps and expand existing ones to accommodate the growing number of South Sudan refugees escaping fighting and violence in the country.

Adrian Edwards is UNHCR spokesperson in Geneva.

"According to government data there are now 46,579 South Sudanese refugees in Uganda. Ethiopia has so far received 20,624, and Kenya at least 8,900. An estimated 10,000 people have also crossed into Sudan's South and West Kordofan states, which are themselves facing armed violence. The government of Sudan has registered 1,371 of them as refugees while the rest are mostly nomads. Water is the most urgent of the challenges, with some of the recently moved refugees reporting that a wait of up to 4 days to get water while others are sleeping in line at water pumps with their jerry cans. Shelter and health are also problematic, with many people sleeping in the open."

UNHCR currently needs a total of $ 88 million to respond to the humanitarian crisis inside South Sudan as well as in the surrounding region.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration 1’38″

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