There is a herculean effort to provide for the basic humanitarian needs of 60,00 people in Yida refugee camp in South Sudan, with the UN and NGO partners like Doctors without Borders are leading this charge. One of the main challenges is simply logistic: Yida is currently inaccessible by road, but food supplies were about to run out.
The solution? See below.
Over the past year, as the Sudanese government intensified a military campaign against militias in the Nuba mountain region, many thousands of refugees started streaming across the border to South Sudan. This was probably by design: As was evident in Darfur, the Sudanese government’s style of counter-insurgency warfare includes attacks against the ethnic groups from which the militias draw their members.
This is a terrible place for a refugee camp. It is prone to flooding; access to clean drinking water is limited; and the rainy season makes delivering supplies to Yida all but impossible. It is also close enough to the Sudanese border that the Sudanese air force sometimes bombs the camp. Still, the UN and its partners are basically the only groups trying to keep the people living in this refugee camp alive and as healthy as possible.