The Wau refugee camp in northwestern South Sudan is home to thousands of refugees. The internally displaced persons fled their homes after they were attacked and have sought shelter in the camp.
But the massive influx of refugees makes living conditions in the camp quite difficult, especially for young children.
“Based on the number of the indicators and the screenings we’ve done to the children, immediately after the displacement and after some time during our response, things have deteriorated quite badly. We are facing almost three times more of malnutrition compared to before the conflict,” said Shafeeq al Rahmna, a UNICEF representative.
Estimates indicate that over 95,000 refugees live in the area and more continue to arrive daily. This influx has put additional pressure on basic social services in the camp. Given these difficult conditions, these internally displaced persons express the desire to return to their villages.
South Sudan’s civil war began in 2013 pitting mostly Dinka government soldiers against mainly Nuer rebels and has killed tens of thousands of people. Both sides are accused of committing crimes against humanity.
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and his rival, Vice President Riek Machar, last month formed a coalition government to try and stop the violence but tensions continue to simmer.