The United Nations’ refugee agency, the UNHCR, has said that close to 32 000 South Sudan nationals have fled the nation, making their way to neighbouring Sudan, after South Sudan declared famine in parts of the country last week.
The UN Refugee Agency has been tracking how many South Sudan nationals have left the country, and has estimated that close to 32 000 have left the country since the start of 2017.
“So far, nearly 32 000 refugees are estimated to have arrived in Sudan in 2017…the food security situation is expected to deteriorate further in coming months [sic],” the UNHCR said in a statement.
When South Sudan declared famine last week, the government said that more than 100 000 people had been affected by the famine, but that close to 1 million people are on the brink of starvation in the country.
The agency further said that many of the refugees walk between 5 and 7 days to reach Sudan’s border, and when they do, they arrive there “exhausted and in poor health, often with critical levels of malnutrition”.
The UNHCR, along with other human rights organisations, have appealed for US$166.65 million in aid to help the people of South Sudan. However, thus far they have only raised 5% of their targeted amount.
The ongoing civil war in South Sudan has caused extreme difficulties for the world’s youngest nation, including lack of proper aid, famine and bloodshed.