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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

S. Sudan’s refugees pushed to the edge
of survival amid declining external support 

JUBA (Xinhua) -- Thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in the South Sudanese capital of Juba have been pushed to the margins due to lack of basic necessities like food, clothing and water.

During a recent interview with Xinhua, the internally displaced population revealed that their survival is at stake due to harsh living conditions in the temporary shelters.

The 2,000 IDPs who are part of the elderly women and children that fled conflict in border town of Yei following the renewed clashes last year are staring at an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.

The internally displaced persons sheltered in temporary camps on the outskirts of Juba narrated their suffering thanks to dwindling food ration, inadequate water supply and outbreak of communicable diseases.

Rachel Agau Buol, 50-year-old, who was seated at her blue tent, appeared malnourished and fatigued after arriving from the nearby bush where she went to fetch acacia fruits and firewood to enable her prepare dinner for her family.

Buol appreciated the fact that many households in the war-torn country primarily use firewood for cooking purposes due to debilitating poverty since it is often the only available, accessible and affordable fuel in the capital.

“I risk my life to wake up very early in the morning to go and gather firewood in order to meet my family daily meal,” said Buol.

Speaking in her native Dinka, Buol, who is a mother of four daughters, said she fled her home with empty hands. Since then life has been a nightmare to her children.

“We have stayed for months without getting any assistance from the humanitarian agencies so we resorted to survival on wild fruits. Sometime we sleep with empty stomach when no one buys our acacia fruits and firewood,” Buol told Xinhua.

South Sudan’s conflict has entered its fifth year and the humanitarian crisis has continued to intensify and expand, on a costly trajectory for the country’s people.

Michael Adier Kuol, camp leader and a teacher by profession told Xinhua that the situation of people in the camp is critical and needs urgent solution.

“We don’t have food and enough shelters. Our previous tents distributed by China Aid worn-off. “We never receive another food ratio from the government or humanitarian organizations like World Food Program though they did assessment,” Kuol revealed.

Paul Dhel, deputy chairman of the South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission, said the camp in the southern part of the city is now being considered as part of the internally displaced settlement in the country.

“We are engaging our partners particularly World Food Program (WFP) to see a possibility of reintegrating our communities back in their communities,” said Dhel.

According to the UN, some 4 million civilians have been displaced, two million live in internally displaced camps and 1.9 million are refugees in neighboring countries like Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya.

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