Happy Birthday, South Sudan

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South Sudan is one year old today.

Jane-Ann McKenna, Head of Office, Médecins Sans Frontières Ireland, who is in South Sudan, writes:

The baby in the photo above is Abdullah (name changed). He was born prematurely at the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) tent hospital here in Jamam refugee camp. His mum is one of over 100,000 refugees who fled conflict across the border in Sudan and had to walk for weeks, sometimes months, to reach what they hoped would be sanctuary in South Sudan.

Unfortunately, this newborn nation – which is celebrating its first birthday today – doesn’t have any emergency response capacity to help thousands of displaced people who urgently need food, shelter, and clean water.

The start of rainy season hasn’t helped matters. Last week we woke to find that the refugee camp had become a swamp, with latrines over flowing and tents washed away. MSF is providing medical care but despite our best efforts, the mortality rate is almost double the emergency threshold, with eight or nine children dying every day, mainly from diarrhoea. We’re appealing for help.

Jane-Ann McKenna, Head of Office, Médecins Sans Frontières Ireland, c/o Jamam refugee camp, Upper Nile State, South Sudan.

MSF.ie Appeal for Sudan here

(Pic by Shannon Jensen)