16/12/2011 - Following intense fighting in the Blue Nile State of the Republic of Sudan, tens of thousands of people have fled to Ethiopia and South Sudan. UN agencies estimate that between 20,000 to 40,000 people are on the move to Upper Nile state. Over 32,000 people from Blue Nile State have arrived in Upper Nile State in South Sudan. Humanitarian agencies are struggling to provide essential services such as clean water, food, shelter, and medicines. The needs are vast and the refugee population is rising fast. This remote area of South Sudan is not easily accessible, which makes the delivery of humanitarian assistance a real challenge.
The European Commission's Department for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) is supporting various life saving programmes in South Sudan. The main priorities include emergency preparedness and response, provision of basic services to the vulnerable populations living in areas particularly prone to shocks such as conflicts and natural hazards. The Commission also supports programmes that assist Internally Displaced People (IDPs), Refugees, Returnees and vulnerable communities through the provision of health and nutrition services, water and sanitation, and food assistance. To facilitate the provision of assistance ECHO also supports common humanitarian services such as the common transport of humanitarian commodities, coordination of humanitarian air services. In 2011 the Commission allocated €140 million to address humanitarian needs in Sudan and South Sudan.
The Director General of the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection, Claus Sorensen, met with some of the refugees who have settled in Doro, near Bunj town: