On the Run

Description

Refugees from war-torn South Sudan who’ve crossed over into Uganda line up for transportation to camps.

A rise in conflict and insecurity in South Sudan since early July has sent more than 60,000 people — 90 percent of them women and children — fleeing across the border to Uganda for safety.

Refugees overwhelmed reception centers, reported World Vision communications officer Moses Mukitale from the border. Food rations were in short supply, he said. Heathcare, water, and sanitation services were also stretched beyond capacity.

As the number of refugees increased, the Ugandan government opened two new refugee settlements. World Vision doubled its staff delivering high-energy biscuits to new arrivals. World Vision set up two new Child-Friendly Spaces, in addition to four that are providing a place to play and receive psychosocial care to children who arrived earlier.

The new refugees have begun receiving plots of land inside the refugee settlements where they can establish a home and garden. Once they settle, they qualify for monthly food rations that World Vision distributes at Nyumanzi and Pagarinya reception centers in Adjumani district, northern Uganda.

At the end of 2015, Uganda hosted more than 500,000 refugees and asylum seekers, making it the third-largest refugee-hosting country in Africa after Ethiopia and Kenya. Ugandan law automatically grants refugee status to South Sudanese, which entitles them to the same social services as nationals, the right to work, education, freedom of movement, and access to land for home and farming.

World Vision aid to South Sudanese refugees in Uganda includes:

  • Distribution of high-energy biscuits to all new arrivals
  • General food distribution for more than 155,000 refugees
  • Nutrition centers for breastfeeding mothers and children with malnutrition
  • Child-Friendly Spaces
  • Early childhood development classes
  • Water and sanitation

Photo©2016 World Vision, Moses Mukitale

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