AFRICA/SUDAN - Gorom: Precarious conditions in refugee camps

Wednesday, 21 February 2024

Khartoum (Agenzia Fides) - "The most basic services are lacking, refugees in the Gorom camp, west of Juba, the capital of South Sudan, are struggling to get food," report local sources, given the deteriorating conditions and great difficulties in one the country's camps. "Humanitarian organizations spend $8 per person per month, which is only enough for one meal a day". "There is almost no medical care and the chronically ill suffer a lot. The camp's medical center is designed for 2,000 people, while there are currently more than 18,000 refugees living in the camp and only a doctor is available. Some patients are taken to the hospital in Juba, but cannot be treated there because they cannot bear the costs,” said the observers. Another area that is completely disadvantaged is education: "In Gorom there are no primary schools and only one secondary school, but so far no Sudanese students have been admitted. The government supports the refugees, but has neither the capacity nor the resources to care for and support them." According to the “Displacement Tracking Matrix” of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), as of February 4, 2024, a total of 542,199 people have fled to South Sudan from the war in Sudan that has been going on for more than ten months. About a fifth of them are Sudanese, 80% are non-Sudanese citizens, mostly South Sudanese refugees. In addition, the organization “Youth for Darfur Mashad” reported on an impending humanitarian catastrophe that threatens the lives of thousands of Sudanese refugees in South Sudan. Accordingly, more than 4,000 people suffer from a serious lack of basic supplies. "The silence of many international humanitarian organizations regarding the provision of aid poses a serious threat to Sudanese refugees in South Sudan, which could lead to worsening living conditions in the camps, which are already suffering from a lack of food and medicine," emphasize the sources. Sudanese refugees have to wait in overcrowded camps in South Sudan. Many spend months in transit camps, hoping to return home soon. According to United Nations estimates, around 1,500 people arrive as displaced people in South Sudan every day, and since the beginning of the conflict (see Fides 22/4/2023) almost eight million people, half of them children, have fled the country. In addition, around 25 million people, more than half of Sudan's population, are in need of humanitarian assistance, while an estimated 3.8 million children under the age of five suffer from malnutrition. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 21/2/2024)