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South Sudanese refugees in Sudan are in dire need of international aid: IFRC

Refugees from South Sudan receive medical treatment in Sudan's White Nile state on February 28, 2017 (AFP Photo/ASHRAF SHAZLY)
July 19, 2018 (KHARTOUM) – South Sudanese refugees in Sudan are in “desperate” need of humanitarian assistance, says the Secretary-General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Elhadj As Sy.

Sudan is the host country of over 750, 000 refugees who fled violence in South Sudan since December 2013. There are some 150,000 refugees in White Nile State, near the border with South Sudan.

“What I saw was major and unmet humanitarian needs among people who fled their homes. I met with families who told me that told me stories of separation, loss, grief, and of not knowing what has happened to family members,” said Mr Sy following a visit to refugees camps in the White Nile.

“The solidarity and hospitality of local communities in White Nile are heartening. Both hosts and refugees desperately need protection, care and support,” he further said.

The Sudanese Red Crescent has been supporting about 90,000 people with water, sanitation, health and emergency shelter. Also, it is distributing food to 154,000 people and runs three primary health care centres in the camps.

The Senegalese national visited several sites in White Nile where the Sudanese Red Crescent has been providing services, including safe spaces for women and children.
“Our work here is crucial, and it is far from over. The Sudanese Red Crescent is one of the key humanitarian actors in White Nile and throughout Sudan. I was moved to see the passion and commitment of hard-working Red Crescent volunteers,” he said.

The IFRC, UN agencies and international aid groups face difficulties to get the needed funds to support the refugees or internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Sudan.

The IFRC said it received only 3% of the 4.1 million Swiss francs needed for its humanitarian plans in Sudan.

This lack of support negatively impacts water and sanitation services runs by the IFRC and the Sudanese Red Crescent amid the high prevalence of diseases such as malaria.

“I urge the international community to support our response efforts in Sudan,” said Osman Jafar Abdullah, Secretary General of the Sudanese Red Crescent quoted in a statement released on Sy’s visit to Sudan.

“We cannot fail the people who have lost everything and desperately want to recover their dignity and live in peace,” he added.