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Sudanese Refugees in Critical Condition in South Sudan, UN Says

People fleeing war in Sudan are facing “critical” levels of disease and malnourishment and the United Nations is short of funds to help them, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said today.

The UN said 217,000 people have fled fighting between the government and rebels in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states. Ethiopia is hosting 36,000, while the rest are in South Sudan where heavy rains have flooded camps and blocked movement.

“We are contending with a situation in which many newly arriving refugees are already dangerously malnourished, the threat from water-borne disease is high, large refugee populations are in locations that are clearly dangerous, and flooded roads block access and the possibility of relocating people elsewhere,” Guterres said in an e-mailed statement.

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said it has received $45.9 million of the $219 million it needs this year to respond to the crisis. The agency said it is particularly worried about an outbreak of disease in Yida camp in South Sudan’s Unity state, which houses 59,000 people and is receiving as many as 1,000 new arrivals a day.

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