I just concluded a google hangout with WFP spokesperson Judith Schuler who’s currently in Asosa, Ethiopia monitoring the influx of refugees from across the border in South Sudan. Refugees have been streaming across the border to flee fighting in the Blue Nile and Kordofan in Sudan. Some 26,000 people over the past few months have sought refuge in the Benishangul-Gumuz Regional State in western Ethiopia.
Schuler reports that they are being welcomed by border communities and that malnutritian rates are not as high as they are for refugees streaming into Ethiopia from Sudan. Still, the situation is very volatile.
This is not South Sudan’s only urgent refugee crisis. From OCHA:
Within South Sudan, over 350,000 people fled rebel militia attacks and inter-communal clashes in 2011. Meanwhile, fighting in Sudan’s Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states forced approximately 80,000 people to seek refuge in South Sudan since June 2011. Humanitarians continue to respond to emergency needs of more than 360,000 South Sudanese who have returned from Sudan since late 2010 and to the nearly 3 million people currently in need of emergency food aid in the country.
And take a look at this map of the humanitarian situation in South Sudan. It is dire.