Situation "very grim" in Awerial, South Sudan

by Plan UK | Plan UK
Friday, 10 January 2014 15:01 GMT

* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The humanitarian situation is “very grim” in Awerial in South Sudan where thousands of people are seeking refuge from fighting - reports children’s charity Plan International.

Concerns are growing for women and children, who have borne the brunt of the clashes.

About 85,000 people have fled to the town in Lakes state from neighbouring Jonglei since fighting began last month.

“The situation is reaching a tipping point as the numbers of people fleeing the conflict continue to swell daily,” says Hazel Nyathi, Plan’s Acting Regional Director in Eastern and Southern Africa.

“There is acute human suffering in the country with children and women bearing the brunt of the fighting.

"The situation on the ground in Awerial in humanitarian terms is very grim. Most of the people there have fled fighting in Bor in Jonglei State.

“They didn’t take anything with them, they haven’t had food, they haven’t had access to clean water, and don’t have shelter. In some cases the people are wounded and don’t have medical care,” she adds.

Plan already has aid workers on the ground and is now deploying an international team to help with the response.

The charity, in partnership with the World Food Programme, is also providing nutrition supplements 4,700 malnourished under-fives in Awerial.

More than 200,000 people, mostly children and women, have been displaced in the country since December 15 when fighting broke out between forces loyal to South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and rebel army units.

A further 32,000 have fled to neighbouring countries, most of them to Uganda.

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