Despite ceasefire, South Sudanese refugees and Ugandan host communities struggle with mounting risks
While yesterday’s ceasefire is a sign of political progress, efforts to support the more than 50,000 South Sudanese refugees in Uganda remain grossly under resourced, and host communities are being pushed to the breaking point, worldwide development organization Oxfam warned today.
In Northern Uganda’s Arua and Adjumani districts, more than 1,000 South Sudanese refugees—mostly women and children—arrive every day. Oxfam teams are witnessing acute shortages of clean drinking water, health facilities and basic sanitation. These gaps must quickly be filled in order to stem a growing public health risk to both the refugee community and the Ugandan villages that are hosting them.
Oxfam’s Country Director in Uganda, Peter Kamalingin, said, “Local communities in Arua and Adjumani have graciously hosted refugees from South Sudan in the past, but the sheer numbers that we are seeing today are cause for genuine concern. We need to do everything we can to redouble efforts to help refugees, while at the same time ensuring the communities hosting them have full access to water, health facilities, schools and food.”
Notes to Editors
- Oxfam is responding in partnership with Ugandan partner-organizations under the coordination framework of the Office of the Prime Minister of Uganda (OPM) and the UNHCR.
- Oxfam’s response addresses the immediate humanitarian and protection needs of refugees and host communities, while also providing longer term support to help rebuild people’s lives and livelihoods. The intervention will include provision of water, sanitation facilities like latrines and bath shelters, hygiene promotion and the provision of energy-efficient cooking stoves.