UNMIS and agencies assist Southern Kordofan IDPs

13 Jun 2011

UNMIS and agencies assist Southern Kordofan IDPs

12 June 2011 More than 53,000 people have so far been displaced by the conflict in Southern Kordofan, a report from the Office of the Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today.

The fighting which began in Kadugli town on 6 June between the Sudan Allied Forces (SAF) and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) has spread to other localities around the state, resulting in yet unknown numbers of casualties and massive displacement of people from their homes.

"Fighting has spread to 11 of the 19 localities in Southern Kordofan state," said the OCHA report. "Humanitarian agencies have started to provide assistance to affected populations where security permits."

Working with the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), the humanitarian agency coordination team is led by the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

In Kadugli, the agencies have begun distribution of food and non-food items in 10 sites with concentrations of internally displaced persons (IDPs), including the protective perimeter set up by UNMIS, next to its headquarters in Kadugli. The perimeter is currently holding more than 6,000 people.

"(The) World Food Programme (WFP) has in the last ... days distributed food to last seven days to about 6,000 people in Kadugli," said WFP area coordinator Mahadevan Ramachandran. "We have also distributed food for seven days to another 6,000 IDPs in Kauda in the last two days."

On 13 June, the WFP will provide food for three and a half days in Talodi for 11,000 people. The distribution will be carried out by UNMIS and local leaders.

IOM has also distributed 1,142 sleeping mats to IDPs in Kadugli, while the World Health Organization has supervised the running of temporary health care units that were set up in the protective perimeter, which are being run by volunteers of the Sudan Red Crescent Society (SRCS).

"We have been able to access some supplies from our warehouses and have given essential medical kits, drugs and nutrition drugs to the health care units," said Soledad Herrerro, head of the UNICEF office in Southern Kordofan.

UNICEF, which is also carrying out child protection assessments, yesterday screened 340 children under the age of five for malnutrition. Some 22 children were found to be severely malnourished.

Humanitarian assistance has been affected by the suspension of UN flights to and from Kadugli since 10 June, affecting ability to bring in humanitarian items.

The OCHA report also stated that more than 1,000 people have reportedly fled Southern Kordofan since the fighting, with many of them heading to El Obeid, Northern Kordofan State. Another 650 people are said to be displaced in the Saliheen market and 300 in Rahad town.