The number of South Sudanese refugees sheltering in neighbouring countries has this week passed the 1 million mark, including more than 185,000 people who have fled since fresh violence erupted in the country in Juba on July 8.
This was revealed by the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on Friday, adding that South Sudan joins Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia as countries which have produced more than a million refugees.
Over 140,000 refugees recently crossed into Uganda, but a surge of people have entered western Ethiopia’s Gambella region in the past week and others have been heading to Kenya, DRC and Central African Republic.
Uganda is hosting the lion’s share of South Sudanese refugees, with over 370,000, more than a third of them arriving since early July. They keep coming; over the past week more than 20,000 new arrivals were recorded, primarily through the Oraba crossing in the northwest.
The fighting has shattered hopes for a real breakthrough and triggered new waves of displacement and suffering.
The humanitarian organizations are finding it very difficult for logistical, security and funding reasons to provide urgent protection and assistance to the hundreds of thousands in need, including 1.61 million internally displaced people.