South Sudan: Thousands flee to Ethiopia

by Danish Refugee Council | Danish Refugee Council (DRC) - Denmark
Monday, 27 January 2014 13:46 GMT

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Danish Refugee Council is working full speed in Western Ethiopia in order to secure water and proper conditions for more than 21.000 refugees from South Sudan.

The riots in South Sudan has displaced more than half a million people and sent 80.000 people across the border to Uganda and Ethiopia. DRC are present in South Sudan, Uganda and Ethiopia and in Ethiopia DRC employees are working hard to be able to receive 21.000 refugees, who are all expected to transfer to a new camp within two weeks.

The crisis in South Sudan is the worst in the country’s short history. Five out of South Sudan’s ten states are heavily affected by armed violence. One of them is Jonglei State that borders the Western Ethiopia’s Gambella District. Gambella is a hard to reach area with serious security issues and big parts of the region have no power. Many local communities are already living on a minimum subsistence level and the many refugees from South Sudan puts additional pressure on the already limited resources.

The many challenges in the Gambella District complicate the relief work and the new refugee camp are not yet fully functional.

“In order to respond to the needs of the thousands of refugees, when they arrive at the new camp, DRC are working day and night to ensure the absolute most important thing in the camp – clean drinking water,” says Christian Jacob Hansen, Head of Unit for Horn of Africa and Yemen.

DRC works to put four wells near the camp in function. Until the wells are functional, DRC pumps, purifies and transport water from the river to the camp.

 DRC have been working in Ethiopia since 2010, assisting refugees from Somalia and South Sudan and therefore hold the capacity for delivery of relief directly and short noticed to major influxes of refugees.