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JUBA — In response to the strained humanitarian situation in South Sudan, UNFPA handed over reproductive health kits to the United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR, in Juba on 8 March.

The kits are to be distributed in Upper Nile State, where there are currently 80,000 refugees from Sudan’s Blue Nile, and Unity State, where where refugees from South Kordofan are spread over camps in Yida, Pariang and Nyeel.

Refugee numbers set to rise

The ongoing influx of refugees in Upper Nile State is expected to reach between 120,000 and 150,000 refugees in the next three months, and in Unity State, around 60,000 in the same timeframe.

“Due to a large number of returnees after the war, plus the recent violence and insecurity, many people in South Sudan are on the move, often with little more than the clothes on their backs,” said Dr. Bannet Ndyanabangi, Deputy Representative for UNFPA South Sudan. “The people fleeing the violence find themselves without basic necessities – from obvious things like food and water to hygiene supplies and medical care.”

UNFPA is part of the humanitarian relief efforts taking place in South Sudan. The organization sends the equipment, medicine and supplies needed for clinical delivery assistance and emergency obstetric care in the affected areas and supports the distribution of clean delivery kits.

Life or death for mothers

“The kits can mean life or death for a woman and her new born baby as they contain the supplies needed to provide reproductive health care in emergency situations to reduce mortality and morbidity associated with reproductive health issues during crisis situations,” said Dr. Ndyanabangi. “This is accomplished by providing basic reproductive health services in the early phase of an emergency, including when refugee camps are being established.”

UNFPA has handed over a total of 116 different reproductive health kits to UNHCR which, besides save delivery assistance, also contain supplies for treatment after rape, plus condoms, oral and injectable contraceptives  and supplies for the treatment of sexually transmitted infections.

UNFPA’s humanitarian partners in South Sudan continue to plan for an increased number of returnees ahead of the 8 April deadline for South Sudanese to establish their status in Sudan. The partners are also conducting operational planning for the worst case scenario, in case of an en masse return.

For further information please contact:

Anne Wittenberg, UNFPA: +211 956209239 or