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2013-07-24

AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN – Food emergency for thousands of people who have fled into the forests of the State of Jonglei

Juba (Agenzia Fides) - Tens of thousands of people have fled to avoid yet another wave of violence in the forests of the State of Jonglei, in South Sudan, where there is severe food crisis. Since clashes have started between the Lou Nue r and Murle communities and those between the government and the rebel movement of David Yau Yau, more than 100 thousand people have not received humanitarian aid. Over the last six months, 120,000 people have fled and, in addition to insecurity, they must cope with the rains and lack of food. The United Nations World Food Programme has so far distributed food where possible using helicopters but it is not sufficient to cover the entire area. The Murle communities have already made use of survival strategies: they feed themselves on wild fruits and leaves. Women who long remained hidden in the woods with their children fled to the city to try to find something to eat but for fear of the ongoing violence, they once again fled back to the swamps although there is no shelter, health services, drinking water. Only recently, after lengthy negotiations between the state and non-state armed groups, humanitarian organizations have been able to bring aid to 25 thousand people. Serious and life-threatening diseases are beginning to spread, such as measles that is affecting many children. Many do not want to reach the city to seek treatment because they are afraid. The humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders, after the destruction of the hospital in Pibor, is handling the only health facility in the village of Gumuruk. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 24/07/2013)

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