The photographs above were taken by the IRC's Liz Pender in and around the Yida refugee camp in South Sudan, to which tens of thousands of refugees have fled in recent months, following fighting in northern Sudan.
Photgraphy: Liz Pender/The IRC
Article: Stefano Gelmini
Since the start of the year, a combination of protracted fighting and severe food shortages in Sudan's South Kordofan and Blue Nile states has forced tens of thousands of people to leave their homes and flee across the border to South Sudan. About 50,000 refugees have already arrived in Unity State alone, and more are expected as the influx continues at a rate of nearly 800 a day.
Most of the refugees in Unity State have concentrated in the Yida refugee camp, situated just 15 miles south of the border. Ibrahim Kallo, IRC emergency field coordinator in Yida, said: “Those arriving in the camp in recent weeks are visibly exhausted and malnourished after walking for four or five days with little food or water, and some children show signs of severe malnutrition. Women are being raped and assaulted, both on the journey and once they arrive. Fear of hunger is likely to trigger a further wave of displacement in the coming weeks, as people try to get out before the rains make the trek across the border more arduous.”
The IRC has opened a Women and Girls Wellness Centre in the camp, providing a range of reproductive health care services and assistance for women and girls who have been sexually assaulted. Services include deliveries, pre- and post-natal care, family planning, treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, specialised care for survivors of rape and abuse, counselling, and health education.