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UNHCR relocates vulnerable Sudanese refugees for better protection

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September 25, 2015 (LASU) – The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) said it started relocating 2,143 vulnerable Sudanese refugees from South Sudan’s Central Equatoria state town of Yei River county to the nearby Lasu settlement site.

Among those being relocated, UNHCR said, were many single mothers who had requested for assistance, owing to the rising costs of living in Yei town.

"Extreme poverty and a worsening economic situation have exposed many of these refugees to serious protection risks," said Isabelle Misic, UNHCR’s assistant official on protection.

"Our roles is to protect them from resorting to negative copying mechanisms, either because they are unable to pay for their rent, cover the costs of their children’s basic education or health care," added the official.

When the arrive at the site, the refugees reportedly received food, a kit of items for domestic use as well as tools and a plot of land on which to build their houses.

According to the agency, lactating mothers who arrived at Lasu settlement were accommodated in a special transit facility to keep their babies as healthy as possible.

"Gradually, we will integrate this group of refugees in all existing services and assistance programmes available in the settlement, including shelter, food, water, health care and education", said Misic in a statement the UN body extended to Sudan Tribune.

Although 644 refugees have so far been relocated to Lasu in coordination with the Commission for Refugee Affairs, ACROSS and the local authorities, the relocation operation will reportedly continue in coming weeks to transfer the remaining 1,499 refugees.

"We appreciate the hospitality and generosity of Lasu payam’s authorities and people who are welcoming and hosting these most needy refugees as part of their community", said Misic.

Currently accomodating some 8,300 refugees, Lasu settlement was reportedly set up in 2009 to provide sanctuary to Congolese refugees fleeing violence from the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It reported to be one of South Sudan’s 10 refugee camps and settlements, currently hosting 265,235 refugees.

(ST)

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Thousands of South Sudanese civilians have sought refuge at UN bases in the (...)
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