23 Oct 2018

 

UNHCR Takes Donors To Ajuong Thok Refugee Camp As Flow Of Nuba Refugees Continue

The United Nation Humanitarian Coordinator for Refugees (UNHCR) in a statement said it has taken donors to Ajuong Thok refugee camp as flow of Nuba refugees continues.

By Jok P Mayom

JUBA, 02 April 2015[Gurtong]- The representatives of several donor countries wrapped up a one-day visit to Unity State's Ajuong Thok camp, organized by UNHCR last week.

"The aim of the visit was to show solidarity with the refugees and for donors to appreciate the impact on existing resources and services of the steady influx from Sudan's South Kordofan State" reads the statement. 

The government’s Commissioner for Refugee Affairs, Hon. Bol John Akol and UNHCR Representative in South Sudan Ahmed Warsame accompanied the delegation of ambassadors and diplomats from Canada, Germany, United States, European Commission's Humanitarian aid and Civil Protection Office (ECHO) as well as officials from UNICEF and UNOPS.

After a three-hour tour of the camp's new clinic, the new arrival reception centre and a primary school, the delegation met refugees’ community leaders.

"The magnitude and complexity of internal displacement in South Sudan has galvanized our attention as donors," says David Schwake, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, addressing representatives of the refugee community on behalf of the delegation.

"But we have not forgotten you and the challenges that you face every day" said the Ambassador.

Since 23 December last year, nearly 9,800 Sudanese refugees from South Kordofan have been transported to Ajuong Thok camp from Yida border town. At least 85 percent are new arrivals who have recently fled ongoing conflict and widespread violence in the war-torn Nuba Mountains.

The remaining 15 percent are long-time residents of Yida, a spontaneous settlement in South Sudan's Unity State already sheltering some 69,600 Sudanese refugees.  

With more than 24,000 Sudanese refugees already living in Ajuong Thok, the camp has reached its maximum capacity.
"The steady influx from South Kordofan has put a severe strain on the camps’ infrastructure and essential services such as sanitation, health and education," says Warsame. "As the camp population continues to grow, schools are already overcrowded with as many as 140 students per classroom" Waesame continued. 

The Government of South Sudan and UNHCR have agreed to expand Ajuong Thok and establish a new camp in Pamir, 12 km southwest of Ajuong Thok, in preparation for more arrivals.

"We are making progress," says Warsame adding that the extension will allow up to 40,000 people to be accommodated, while the new camp will host as many as 20,000 refugees. "Such a project requires an investment of some US$ 20 million," he said. "We rely on donors to support our work and help us meet the basic needs of the persons we serve." 

In coordination with the Government of South Sudan and partners, UNHCR assists and protects refugees and is part of the multi-agency response to internally displaced South Sudanese, as lead of the Protection Cluster.

At the end of March there were 258,383 refugees in South Sudan, the vast majority from Sudan, living in six camps across the northern states of Unity and Upper Nile.

Smaller numbers of refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and Ethiopia live elsewhere in the country.

The South Sudanese Government gives prima facie recognition to refugees crossing its borders. Since 15 December 2013, when violence broke out across South Sudan, there are also about 1.5 million internally displaced people.


 

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