500,000 flee fighting in South Sudan

by Plan UK | Plan UK
Monday, 20 January 2014 15:20 GMT

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

NEARLY half a million villagers are on the move in South Sudan as families flee fighting in the world’s newest nation.


A further 83,900 have fled the country altogether for neighbouring Uganda as the crisis spills over the border, reports children’s charity Plan International.


Aid workers for Plan are helping thousands of survivors with life-saving food, water and protection.


“Our immediate concern is over urgent humanitarian needs,” says Hazel Nyathi, Plan’s Acting Regional Director in Eastern and Southern Africa.


“Displaced people are living in dire conditions in some areas. They need food, water, shelter, medical assistance and child protection.”


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


Conditions are particularly poor in Awerial where families have fled fighting in Bor, Jonglei State, which was retaken by government troops at the weekend.


“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,” says Ms Nyathi.


“In some cases the people are wounded and don’t have medical care,” she adds.


Plan has deploying an international team to help with aid workers already on the ground with their emergency response.


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


For more information on Plan’s work or to make a donation call 0800 526 848 or visit www.plan-uk.org