Helping Hand Vital as Refugee Crisis Is Becoming a Calamity; Brutal Civil War, Ethnic Violence and Political Instability Have Displaced More Than 3.5 Million People, and Left Hundreds of Thousands without Food, Water or Safety in South Sudan. Head of Oxfam Cymru Kirsty Davies-Warner Calls for the International Community to Intervene in a Man-Made Crisis

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), August 11, 2017 | Go to article overview

Helping Hand Vital as Refugee Crisis Is Becoming a Calamity; Brutal Civil War, Ethnic Violence and Political Instability Have Displaced More Than 3.5 Million People, and Left Hundreds of Thousands without Food, Water or Safety in South Sudan. Head of Oxfam Cymru Kirsty Davies-Warner Calls for the International Community to Intervene in a Man-Made Crisis


THE people of South Sudan are experiencing extreme hardship. Conflict and hunger are driving thousands out of the country to seek shelter and safety.

Out of the 1.8 million who have left the country, about one million, about as much as one-third of the population of Wales, have entered Uganda to seek refuge.

Uganda now hosts the third-largest refugee population in the world, yet this is a severely unreported crisis. South Sudan is a relatively young country. Independence was won in 2011, but since 2013 the country has been gripped by a civil war between the South Sudanese government and various anti-governmental groups and factions.

This makes the situation a humanmade crisis.

The combination of brutal civil war, ethnic violence and political instability has displaced more than 3.5 million people, and left hundreds of thousands without food, water or safety.

Thousands have died, and many more are in urgent need of some form of humanitarian aid.

Aid agencies and NGOs have managed to push the country back from famine in the past weeks, but vast parts of the country are still suffering extreme hunger.

More than 86% of the refugees fleeing these conditions are women and children.

They need support and aid to protect them from rape, beating, torture and abandonment.

They leave their homes with nothing, all in the hope of finding a better future elsewhere.

The majority travel south to Uganda, because the country has one of the most progressive refugee policies in the world, and a proud history of welcoming people fleeing conflict from other countries in Africa, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi.

Uganda has a history of providing rights, safety and opportunities, and this is why the majority of South Sudanese refugees travel south to Uganda, resulting in huge refugee settlements, like the Bidi Bidi refugee settlement in northern Uganda - which hosts more than 270,000 refugees, making it the biggest refugee settlement in the world.

Uganda permits refugees free movement, the right to work and to start businesses, and creates a system that benefits the Ugandan economy, as well as the wellbeing and livelihoods of refugees.

However, with the significant increase in refugee population, the situation in Uganda is now extremely difficult.

The government is struggling to cope with the high number of people who need humanitarian aid. The system is close to breaking-point.

This means that the progressive approach hangs in the balance, and it is very possible that Uganda will not be able to provide the same level of support if the situation carries on as it is. …

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Helping Hand Vital as Refugee Crisis Is Becoming a Calamity; Brutal Civil War, Ethnic Violence and Political Instability Have Displaced More Than 3.5 Million People, and Left Hundreds of Thousands without Food, Water or Safety in South Sudan. Head of Oxfam Cymru Kirsty Davies-Warner Calls for the International Community to Intervene in a Man-Made Crisis
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