UNHCR records arrival of 39,390 refugees from Somalia, South Sudan

Somali refugees board a plane to return to Mogadishu from Dadaab camp in Kenya. © UNHCR/A.Nasrullah

ADDIS ABABA, May 19 (Xinhua) — 39,390 refugees have arrived from January 1 to May 15 from the war torn nations of Somalia and South Sudan fleeing drought, conflict and food insecurity.

The statement was made on Friday by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) which says with the new arrivals being mainly children and women, it’s struggling to meet their basic needs.

34,346 refugees came from South Sudan which despite achieving independence in July 2011, was engulfed in a brutal civil war with forces broadly loyal to President Salva Kiir and his ex-vice president Riek Machar.

5,044 refugees came from Somalia which hasn’t had a central government since January 1991, when its late military leader Mohammed Siad Barre was overthrown throwing the country in crisis ever since.

UNHCR says with the new arrivals already adding to the constrained resources of the commission it has been finding it is difficult to meet the health, food and nutrition and shelter needs of the refugees.

UNHCR says it’s only getting 10 percent of the around 161 million dollars it needs to meet the needs of South Sudanese refugees and 13 percent of 102.7 million dollars it needs to meet the needs of Somalia refugees.

Currently Ethiopia hosts 376,799 refugees from South Sudan and 250,000 refugees from Somalia.

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