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Kenya braces for South Sudan refugee influx

24 December 2013, 18:00

Nairobi - The World Food Programme (WFP) is distributing food to South Sudanese civilians who have fled recent violence.

Food distribution began on Sunday for some 30 000 civilians sheltering in UNMISS peacekeeping compounds in Juba and Bentiu, and WFP plans in the coming days to assist more people who are displaced in other parts of the country.

“Outside of South Sudan, WFP’s operations in Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya are preparing, along with humanitarian partners and government agencies, to assist refugees who may flee across the borders if fighting escalates,” WFP stated.

The organisation said it was with partners its partners doing their utmost in extremely challenging circumstances to see that food reached those in need.

At the same time, given that escalating conflict in some places has endangered the lives of humanitarian workers, the WFP-managed UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) has helped 80 humanitarian organizations bring their staff to safety –so those aid workers can, in many cases, continue their efforts to provide humanitarian relief to those affected by the conflict.

“WFP has been working hard both to provide food assistance for South Sudanese civilians affected by this crisis, and to support humanitarian workers in need of relocation,” said WFP Country Director Chris Nikoi.

“We call on all parties to protect the lives of innocent civilians and to respect the neutrality of humanitarian workers as they try to assist those in need.”

South Sudan has suffered internal conflict since independence in 2011.

- CAJ News


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