World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UN: Ethiopia faces wave of refugees from South Sudan

Ethiopia faces wave of refugees from South Sudan, warns UN relief official

23 July 2014

South Sudan is the most rapidly deteriorating humanitarian crisis in the world today, according to a senior United Nations relief operations official who made an urgent appeal for desperately-needed funding for Ethiopia, which hosts 180,000 mostly women and children South Sudanese refugees.

John Ging, Operations Director for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), just back from Ethiopia, told a news conference at UN Headquarters today: “This is a manmade problem – the result of a political disagreement between two powerful individuals. It is tragic to see this happening in the world’s youngest country, whose independence we were so recently celebrating.”

“It is imperative that parties to the conflict, and those with influence over them, find a peaceful political solution urgently,” Mr. Ging said. “The people of South Sudan must not be treated as expendable pawns in this power struggle.”

An estimated 180,000 refugees have arrived in Ethiopia from South Sudan since the violence erupted in late 2013 with numbers set to reach 300,000-350,000 by the end of this year.

He said that in addition to the more than 400,000 refugees who have fled their homeland for neighbouring countries, including Ethiopia, the “desperate situation” in South Sudan has forced 1.1 million people to leave their homes inside the country and 3.8 million victims of the war inside South Sudan require humanitarian aid.

Mr. Ging said 90 per cent of those arriving in Ethiopia are women and children and 70 per cent are under the age of 18. People are arriving in a dire state, with some 30 per cent of new arrivals under the age of five acutely malnourished, and 10 per cent severely acutely malnourished, meaning that without urgent treatment they are likely to die of starvation.

“I applaud the generosity of the people and Government of Ethiopia, who are now hosting almost 600,000 refugees” from neighbouring countries South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea.

“Despite not being a rich country, they have consistently kept their borders open, and are an example of international standard for the treatment of refugees in practice. It is now the international community's turn to step up and shoulder its responsibilities to share the burden with Ethiopia.” So far, of the 193 Member States of the United Nations, only 18 are funding the appeal.

The $211 million South Sudanese refugee appeal for Ethiopia is just 25 per cent funded, which means that across the board delivery of service does not meet what the refugees are entitled.

“Only 5 per cent of school-age children in Gambella have access to education, which sets us up for huge problems down the road, and in the camp I visited only 20 per cent of people had shelter which meets international humanitarian standards,” noted Mr. Ging.

“Camps are overcrowded and, with the onset of the rainy season, the danger of a disease epidemic is very real,” he said. “Urgent funding is needed to ensure that those fleeing violence in South Sudan can live decently, healthily and with dignity.”

With the prospects of famine on the horizon in South Sudan, and no prospect for an end to the conflict, humanitarians must prepare for the worst in South Sudan and neighbouring countries.

The veteran humanitarian official described South Sudan as one of three “mega” crises in the world today on a trajectory to becoming a real catastrophe. The two other “mega” humanitarian crises today are Syria and the Central African Republic.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On How Obama’s Supreme Court Choice Says Everything (Bad) About His Presidency

Nothing has epitomised the presidency of Barack Obama quite like his Supreme Court nominees. Time and again, Republican presidents will blithely nominate right wing ideological extremists (Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas) who only sometimes misfire and turn out to be liberals in disguise (David Souter). Yet Obama has consistently skipped over the judicially qualified liberals and gone for a succession of centrists... More>>

ALSO:

Turkey: UN Secretary-General On The Terrorist Bombing In Ankara

The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attack in Ankara earlier today. According to the latest reports, the explosion in the Kizilay district killed and wounded dozens of people. More>>

ALSO:

Five Years On: Fukushima And New Zealand

Science Media Centre: It was the worst nuclear event since Chernobyl. In the wake of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, a crippled Japanese nuclear powerplant went into meltdown, and the world watched as emergency workers scrambled to shut down and contain the reactors. More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF: 1 In 3 Syrian Children Has Grown Up Knowing Only Crisis

An estimated 3.7 million Syrian children – 1 in 3 of all Syrian children - have been born since the conflict began five years ago, their lives shaped by violence, fear and displacement, according to a UNICEF report. This figure includes more than 151,000 children born as refugees since 2011. More>>

ALSO:

Franklin Lamb: Syria’s Truce Bodes Well For Salvaging Our Cultural Heritage

The tentative cessation of hostilities in Syria, which came into effect on 2/28/2016, brokered by Washington and Moscow, is only in its second week... It is well documented that there have been daily incidents of artillery shelling, airstrikes and clashes. Yet, for the nearly 12 million displaced civilians, half of Syria’s population, it’s a much welcomed respite. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Rubio’s Last Stand (And Sleater-Kinney)

Well, it certainly was entertaining to watch Rubio succeed in getting under Donald Trump’s skin the other day, in the last debate before tomorrow’s Super Tuesday multi-state sweepstakes... The real killer for Rubio was that the most recent poll from Florida which shows him losing his home state to Trump by a huge margin in the primary due on March 15. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news