One millionth South Sudanese refugee arrives in Uganda

18 Aug 2017 by World Vision New Zealand
One millionth South Sudanese refugee arrives in Uganda
The UNHCR announce the one millionth South Sudanese refugee has entered into Uganda.

“This shocking 1 million figure is the result of an entirely avoidable man-made disaster. The people of South Sudan will continue to have no choice but to flee until the root causes of the conflict are addressed,” said World Vision New Zealand International Programmes GM Alex Snary, who was in South Sudan in May.

World Vision reports that 86% of those who fled South Sudan and sought safety in Uganda are women and children. 60% of Sudanese refugees in Uganda are children. 

“This is a children’s crisis. Those who arrive daily in Uganda report having witnessed indescribable violence and need long term psychosocial support to deal with the stress caused by the conflict in South Sudan. Many of them are survivors of violent attacks or sexual assault. Too many children have been separated from their parents or travelled on their own. Providing protection to these children is not only a moral duty but it is an imperative to ensure a brighter tomorrow for South Sudan,” added Snary.

The refugees are particularly vulnerable to the long-term effects of conflict which include intensified poverty, hunger and diseases. Opportunities to make a living are severely limited and food scarcity is a growing concern among refugees.

"With more than one million refugees from South Sudan in Uganda, we have to make sure that the children on the move are protected and that when they arrive, they are able to have opportunities to fully participate in society here," said Enid Kabasinguzi Ocaya, World Vision’s disaster risk reduction and humanitarian emergency affairs manager in Uganda. "Otherwise, with no options, there is a fear that they may return to South Sudan and take part in the conflict."

“More can be done to prevent the crisis from slipping into an irrecoverable state. Donor support must continue to address the crisis and ensure protection of children, right to food, and economic developments are sustained for host communities and refugees,” Okabo said. 

World Vision is calling for an inclusive and sustainable political solution is the only way forward to achieve lasting peace in South Sudan. All parties to the conflict and countries with influence over them must live up to commitments to implement the 22 May ceasefire and revitalize an inclusive and credible peace process to bring a lasting end to the conflict.

Chloe Irvine, Head of External Affairs, World Vision New Zealand  |  ​+64 22 340 4271