South Sudanese Refugees: UNHCR in Major Aid Operation Top story

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In short
The shipment contains thousands of mosquito nets, sleeping mats, plastic sheeting, kitchen sets and solar lights, which are set to be delivered to refugee settlement areas in Adjumani, Arua and Kiryandongo districts, as the newly opened Bidibidi settlement in Yumbe district.

Thousands of South Sudanese refugees in Uganda are to benefit from a major aid operation; the United Nations High Commission for Refugees-UNHCR has revealed. 

The donation arrived at Entebbe on Sunday morning aboard Dubai Royal Wings provided by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, the Vice President of the United Arab Emirates and Emir of Dubai.


The shipment contains thousands of mosquito nets, sleeping mats, plastic sheeting, kitchen sets and solar lights, which are set to be delivered to refugee settlement areas in Adjumani, Arua and Kiryandongo districts, as the newly opened Bidibidi settlement in Yumbe district.
 
According to UNHCR, "Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum agreed to partner on the shipment after hearing of the untold suffering being faced by the South Sudanese people since the outbreak of violence in Juba on July 8." 

The delivery comes just days after the number of South Sudanese refugees fleeing their country surpassed the one million mark, including more than 185,000 people in the last ten weeks alone.

 
"The people of South Sudan are suffering, as we've seen by the record numbers that have fled to Uganda and other neighbouring countries in recent weeks," said UNHCR's acting Representative to Uganda, Bornwell Kantande.
 
Adding that "We're extremely grateful to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid for his ongoing support to UNHCR and for making it possible for us to ensure this much-needed aid gets delivered to thousands of the recent arrivals. This shipment will go a long way towards ensuring these people are living in a safe and dignified environment."
 
According to the statement, the South Sudanese arriving in Uganda are disproportionately young and female, with around 90 per cent of new arrivals being women or children under the age of 18.
 
"This presents the humanitarian response with distinct challenges, particularly in the prevention and treatment of sexual and gender-based violence, and child protection," reads the statement. 


UNCHR says the solar lights will help the agency's endeavors to provide each family with light, enhancing security and ensuring children are able to study after dark, as many areas where refugees are settled lack electricity. 

 

About the author

Ahmed Wetaka
Ahmed Wetaka is a URN editor. Wetaka is also the editor-in-charge of Up Country bureaus. All bureau chiefs out of Kampala answer to Wetaka. Wetaka has been a URN staff member since 2007.

Wetaka started his career as Mbale Daily Monitor freelance writer. He was also the Open Gate FM reporter, anchor, talk show host and news editor from 2000.

Wetaka is a keen follower of public affairs developments, politics and religion. In 2014, Wetaka managed to fulfill an important Muslim rite of Haj to Mecca.