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Thousands of South Sudanese affected by unprecedented flooding

JAMAM, SOUTH SUDAN – JULY 17: A woman carries heavy jugs of water through a muddy pond where she filled the plastic containers July 17, 2012 in Jamam refugee camp, South Sudan. Up to 16,000 refugees are in the process of being moved due to flooding in the camp as the rainy season causes problems with the flooded fields around the tents. Jamam refugee camp is approximately 80k from the North Sudan border. There are currently three refugee camps in the Upper Nile area housing 107,000 refugees from the Engassana region coming from North Sudan. South Sudan recently celebrated it’s first independence anniversary. Over the past year repeated conflict with North Sudan, corruption scandals and economic difficulties have plagued the new country. Further problems caused by the shutdown of its oil production have led to a sharp decline in its currency and a rise in the price of food and fuel. South Sudan is one of the most underdeveloped countries in the world. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

The UN refugee agency-UNHCR has sent an alert for help after flooding not witnessed in 40 years in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state affected nearly 200,000 people who urgently need support.

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“The inundated area, near Maban’s capital town of Bunj, is prone to flooding at this time of year because of heavy seasonal rains, but the situation has been getting worse because rainfall in neighboring Ethiopia is becoming more intense and irregular,”the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR’s Andrej Mahecic told journalists in Geneva.

Mr. Mahecic said that with the help of local partners and the authorities, UNHCR plans to reach the area, which shelters more than 150,000 refugees from Sudan.

UNHCR has pre-positioned emergency shelter kits and material assistance to help more than 5,000 affected families rebuild and repair damaged shelters, but says that more support is needed.

South Sudan hosts almost 300,000 refugees – mainly from Sudan’s Blue Nile and South Kordofan. An additional nearly 1.5 million are displaced inside the country.

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Written by PH

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