Crisis in South Sudan

by Medair | Medair - Switzerland
Friday, 17 January 2014 08:22 GMT

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

Medair emergency response team supports the rising number of people affected by the South Sudan crisis

The needs of people caught up in the conflict in South Sudan are continuing to mount as peace talks so far fail to reach a conclusion in Addis Ababa.

“The rapid increase in people displaced over a very short period since the violence erupted, combined with the lack of clarity around a political settlement of the crisis, anticipates a further increase in the number of people in need of humanitarian protection and assistance,” said Anne Reitsema, Head of Medair’s South Sudan programme. “Our emergency response teams are assisting some of the displaced populations following the outbreak of the conflict.”

Since heavy fighting erupted in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, on 15 December 2013, the crisis has quickly escalated and spread to other parts of the country.

The UN estimates that 413,000 people have now fled their homes and are displaced within the country, while more than 74,000 people have crossed into neighbouring nations to escape the conflict. As hostilities continue, Medair, the Swiss-based humanitarian agency, expects more people will be displaced over the coming weeks.

Medair is deeply concerned about the needs of the most vulnerable and is continuing to provide relief in South Sudan amid the crisis. Its emergency response team has been deployed in Juba to urgently assist displaced people with health and nutrition services, sanitation, and distributions of non-food items. The team continues to assess the need within the rest of the country and is actively involved in the coordination of the relief activities.

Meanwhile, in Renk town, Medair is continuing to provide emergency health, nutrition, and WASH services to those who are stranded after returning to the country from Sudan. In Yusuf Batil Camp in Maban County, health and nutrition services are being provided to Sudanese refugees, as well as clean water and sanitation facilities.

“To meet the immediate needs of this vulnerable group and to avoid losing the important gains made in the refugee response in 2012 and 2013, it is vital to continue to provide life-saving assistance and basic services in the different refugee sites,” said Anne.

South Sudan became an independent nation on 9 July 2011. Medair has been present in the region since 1992 responding to emergencies and providing health care, nutrition, safe water, sanitation, hygiene, non-food items and shelter to those most in need.

For media: Please contact Abigail Woodcock, Press Relations Officer (English), +41 (0)78 635 30 95

Anne Reitsema, Head of Medair’s South Sudan Programme, is available for interviews.

Photos of Medair’s activities in South Sudan are available for use. Please credit the images as cited in the photo library:

For more information on Medair’s South Sudan programme, visit

Medair’s South Sudan programme is supported by the E.C Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection, the United States Agency for International Development, Common Humanitarian Fund, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), and private donors.

Figures are taken from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affair’s most recent situation report, dated 14 January 2013.

Medair helps people who are suffering in remote and devastated communities around the world survive crises, recover with dignity, and develop skills to build a better future.