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South Sudan: Humanitarian situation deteriorates in Juba

17-12-2013 News Release 13/232

Geneva/Juba (ICRC) – Armed clashes in Juba since 15 December have left hundreds in urgent need of medical care. Thousands of civilians, including women and children, have fled their homes in search of safety, taking very little with them. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is providing the city's two major hospitals with support so that they can cope with the heavy influx of patients.

More than 300 people have been admitted to Juba Teaching Hospital and Juba Military Hospital over the past two days. The ICRC and the South Sudan Red Cross have delivered to the hospitals enough wound-dressing materials and other urgently needed medical supplies to treat up to 500 people.


A young boy, injured while fleeing from clashes, rests at a medical clinic on the outskirts of the capital Juba. © Reuters/Hakim George

"We know there are more people who need care, but they are having difficulty reaching health-care facilities because of the security situation and the lack of available transportation," said Felicity Gapes, an ICRC delegate who is leading the medical response on the ground. "Staff in both hospitals have been working around the clock, but they are struggling because of the sheer volume of patients and the severity of the injuries."

The ICRC is calling on the fighting parties to take all feasible precautions to minimize civilian casualties and to allow people to safely reach health-care facilities. The organization is closely monitoring needs. Together with the South Sudan Red Cross, it will take further action as the security situation permits.

For further information, please contact:
Cynthia Lee, ICRC Juba, tel: +211 912 360 023, clee@icrc.org (in case mobile networks are not functioning)
Sitara Jabeen, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 24 78 or +41 79 536 92 31