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Sudanese Refugee Camps See Improvement In Water, Food Provisions, But Concerns Remain Over Disease Threats, Overcrowding

“Aid agencies say water and food provision has improved in four camps housing more than 105,000 refugees from Sudan’s Blue Nile State, but flooding, disease and an influx of additional refugees pose new threats,” IRIN reports, noting, “Sudan’s government forces and rebels have been fighting in Blue Nile State since September 2011, sending refugees south.” U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR) Emergency Health Coordinator Pilar Bauza “says refugees have suffered respiratory and diarrheal diseases, malaria and malnutrition from poor living conditions and nutrition,” the news service writes. “Health education campaigns, an increase in water provision from 10 to 13 liters per day, and a drop in malnutrition from 40 to 33 percent have improved the health of the refugees, but more needs to be done,” according to IRIN.

UNHCR Africa Director George Okoth-Obbo said, “We are not out of the woods yet — this is not mission accomplished. … There is still a lot ahead of us in terms of the condition of the people. We still have an unacceptably high level of morbidity. We need to bring down mortality,” according to IRIN. In order “to continue providing basic services by the end of the year, UNHCR says it urgently requires $20 million, having only received 40 percent of its $183 million appeal to manage humanitarian needs in the camps,” the news service notes (9/21).