According to UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the number of South Sudanese fleeing their homes is “alarming” as 1.6 million people have either been displaced or fled to neighbouring countries in the past eight months ago.
A famine produced by the vicious combination of fighting and drought is now driving the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis.
The rate of new displacement is alarming, representing an impossible burden on a region that is significantly poorer and which is fast running short of resources to cope.
Refugees from South Sudan are crossing the borders to the neighbouring countries. The majority of them go to Uganda where new arrivals spiked from 2,000 per day to 6,000 per day in February, and currently average more than 2,800 people per day.
The situation is now critical. Aid for South Sudanese refugees is only eight per cent funded at $781.8 million, and UNHCR’s funding appeal for Uganda urgently needs $267 million.
The situation in South Sudan continues to deteriorate and generate profound human suffering for the population of that country – suffering in which local and ethnic divisions have been exploited for political ends.
He added that the recent escalation of fighting in Equatoria– considered the food basket of South Sudan – has led to a significant displacement of civilians and disrupted food production for the country.
The situation of refugees in Uganda could impact how the UN and humanitarian partners are working to support national authorities in the other neighbouring countries – the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya and Sudan.