VOICES FROM THE FIELDTHE IRC BLOG
South Kordofan crisis: Update from Yida refugee camp
April 18, 2012 by The IRC
|Women who fled the crisis in South Kordofan collect water from taps in the Yida refugee camp. Most of the new arrivals in the camp are women and children. Photo: Elizabeth Pender/IRC|
The International Rescue Committee's Elizabeth Pender spoke to CNN this morning by phone from the overcrowded Yida camp in South Sudan, temporary home to more than 20,000 Sudanese refugees.
Liz shares this update from the camp:
“We're continuing to see an alarming increase of new arrivals from South Kordofan, Republic of Sudan — all of them fleeing a combination of ongoing fighting and severe food shortages. Most of them are coming by foot (some walking for up to a week), and our last survey indicated that 3/4 of the new arrivals are women and their children. Many of them have no family members already living in the camp and because there is no shelter at the moment, they are sleeping near the food distribution point under trees, with nothing. We're all doing our best to mobilize, but it’s hard to keep up, considering our already overstretched resources. Another concern is that many supplies for the camp come through Bentiu, which has recently been the scene of increased violence and has been hit by aerial bombardments.”
Susan Purdin, the IRC’s country director in South Sudan, adds that last week saw 1,800 new arrivals to the Yida refugee camp and that these refugees are in much poorer health than earlier arrivals.
Check our South Sudan page for the latest information on the IRC's response to the growing humanitarian crisis along the Sudan-South Sudan border.