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Urgent Humanitarian Aid Needed for Thousands in S Sudan
Local Editor

Thousands of people who fled the violence in South Sudan are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

South Sudan refugees

Since late January, nearly 30,000 people had fled fighting around Wau Shilluk, in the Greater Upper Nile, and moved to Aburoch town and the bush areas south of Kodok.

"The humanitarian needs of those that fled are vast and are not being met," said Abdalla Hussein Abdalla, Doctors without Borders' [Médecins Sans Frontières MSF] deputy head of mission for South Sudan.

"Most of the people who fled left all their belongings behind. They walked for days to escape the violence, and now they are in dire need of water, food, shelter and medical attention."

MSF had responded to the urgent medical needs of this displaced population by opening a field hospital with inpatient, outpatient and emergency services in Aburoch, where up to 15,000 people had settled.

Two mobile clinics are also operating south of Kodok where part of the displaced population had settled. Over the past two weeks, MSF has provided an average of 300 consultations a day - six times the number carried out in Wau Shilluk hospital before the evacuation.

Those who have settled in these areas have very little to survive on. For weeks, they have only received an average of two liters of clean water each. Although this has improved slightly in recent days, the amount is still below guidelines for what is required to remain healthy in an emergency environment.

Among the families MSF had visited, over 90 per cent were lacking basic supplies such as plastic sheeting to protect them against the sun or the cold at night, jerry cans to collect clean water, or cooking pots.

"Our doctors see many cases of respiratory infection and of acute diarrhea which is partly explained by the terrible living conditions. Children, pregnant women and the elderly are especially vulnerable in this situation," said Abdalla.

"If more latrines are not constructed soon, and access to water is not improved, the risk of communicable diseases spreading through the population will increase," he added.

MSF is worried by the insufficiency of humanitarian assistance available and reiterates its call for all those involved in the fighting to guarantee the safety of civilians.

"Many people don't know where to settle because they are afraid the fighting will force them to flee again. It is essential that they are spared from any more violence, and that assistance is provided to them where they choose to settle," said Abdalla.

south sudan | humanitarian aid | doctors without borders | msf

Source: News agencies, Edited by website team

17-03-2017 | 12:49


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