UNHCR to complete pre-positioning of aid supplies as rains and floods approach in South Sudan

Briefing Notes, 31 May 2013

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Dan McNorton to whom quoted text may be attributed at the press briefing, on 31 May 2013, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

In South Sudan, UNHCR will shortly complete the pre-positioning of humanitarian relief supplies ahead of the rainy season, which in the coming weeks will make many of the country's roads impassable.

More than 190,000 refugees from Sudan are currently living in Unity and Upper Nile states in the north of South Sudan. In Unity, which is home to 73,097 refugees, most of them living in the Yida camp, relief items for up to 110,000 people are either already in warehouses or moving in truck convoys that are expected to arrive within the next week. Once the final deliveries have been made, pre-positioned supplies in Unity state will include: 52,052 plastics sheets; 58,308 blankets; 56,926 sleeping mats and 2,404 family tents. Other items include mosquito nets, jerry cans, kitchen sets and soap.

The last truck carrying these items departed Juba on Thursday. Since the logistics operation began in mid-April 144 trucks have delivered materials to UNHCR operation in the north of the country.

In Upper Nile where there are 117,065 refugees living in five camps, relief items for up to 120,000 people will be in place ahead of the anticipated floods. As well as truck convoys, UNHCR is using boats with the capacity to carry up to 60 metric tonnes to deliver shelter and relief supplies to operations in both Unity and Upper Nile. The boats are travelling along the Nile river, which remains navigable throughout the rainy season. Supplies in Upper Nile state will include: 62,429 plastic sheets; 95,306 blankets; 85,617 sleeping mats and 5,143 family tents as well as other items.

With the ground operation to deliver humanitarian supplies nearly complete, there are no plans to use airlifts.

In the week ending 26 May, the number of new refugees from Sudan registering with UNHCR in Upper Nile state was 378, while in Unity state the figure was 92.