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(Juba, 16 October 2023) Six months since the outbreak of the conflict in Sudan on 15 April, thousands of people fleeing the fighting are still arriving in South Sudan daily.

“Nobody had imagined that six months on, we would still be witnessing such large daily inflows,” said Marie-Helene Verney, Acting Humanitarian Coordinator to South Sudan.

Since the start of the conflict, South Sudan has received more than 310,000 new arrivals from Sudan as of 13 October, including South Sudanese returnees (over 90 per cent), refugees and third-country nationals. The influx is expected to continue. Many new arrivals are extremely vulnerable and in need of immediate assistance.

“As the weeks go by, people arrive with less and less resources and in increasingly worse states of health, with malnutrition also on the rise among new arrivals as conditions in Sudan deteriorate further,” emphasized Marie-Helene Verney.

Poor infrastructure and in particular lack of roads, flooding and funding constraints are severely testing the capacity of humanitarian actors to respond both at the border and in receiving communities, as well as putting pressure on onward transportation, which remains the most critical need in this response. IOM and other humanitarian partners have assisted approximately 150,000 people to move on to final destinations so far. The Government of South Sudan has also provided transport to thousands, while many others have made their own way to their communities.

South Sudan continues to face overlapping crises, including floods, conflict and food insecurity – all of which adversely affect the resilience and vulnerability of people across the country. The ongoing Sudan crisis has had a dramatic negative impact on the already fragile humanitarian situation. Disruptions in cross-border trade and humanitarian corridors have led to increased prices of food and commodities, particularly in the northern half of the country where most of the new arrivals are settling. This has worsened food insecurity and compounded acute humanitarian needs for the existing population, as well as the new arrivals.

Additional humanitarian access constraints, such as increased threats against humanitarian personnel and looting of assets, continue to challenge the already difficult humanitarian response.

“This crisis has stretched the humanitarian response in South Sudan close to breaking point. With no end in sight, a global decrease in humanitarian funding and more new conflicts breaking out around the world, humanitarian partners are increasingly forced to deprioritize even life-saving activities. In such a context, the Government of South Sudan is called upon to step up the delivery of basic services in vulnerable communities, with the support of development actors,” underscored the Acting Humanitarian Coordinator.

Even as the global context worsens, additional funding is needed by the end of the year to provide life-saving nutrition services to thousands of children arriving from Sudan with moderate and severe acute malnutrition, as well as access to adequate water, sanitation and hygiene services and facilities. Additional funding is also needed to provide adequate space in overcrowded transit centres to reduce the risks of disease outbreaks and gender-based violence. Additional funding will also support children fleeing the war in Sudan to resume learning and help reduce protection risks, such as child marriage, child labor and recruitment of child soldiers. - United Nations OCHA

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