Doctors Without Borders, also known as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), has called for increased humanitarian assistance in Bentiu, northern South Sudan.
At least 152,000 displaced people now live in horrific conditions due to what is now termed the most severe flooding in decades in the area, according to the humanitarian organisation.
Reports say the number of people in Bentiu internally displaced persons camp has grown by 12,000 in just a couple of months, and now holds at least 120,000 people.
‘The dangerously slow and inadequate humanitarian response is putting lives at risk’, MSF’s Emergency Operations Manager, Will Turner, said in a statement.
‘The deplorable situation inside Bentiu displacement camp is not a new phenomenon.
‘For years, we have repeatedly warned about the dire conditions, yet other organisations and agencies responsible for the water and sanitation services in the camp have not sufficiently increased or adjusted their activities.
‘Now we are facing a situation where even in this current crisis, there seems to be paralysis in action, resulting in horrific living conditions and huge health risks for the people living in Bentiu camp and across makeshift camps in Bentiu town’.
He urged the government and humanitarian organisations to urgently take actions that will ensure those who need assistance the most are reached in good time.
‘The humanitarian response in Bentiu needs to urgently shift gears. There is still not enough food assistance within or outside Bentiu camp despite the influx of displaced people, with food rations cut by half earlier this year’, he said.
‘People simply cannot continue to be forced to live in such undignified conditions, unnecessarily exposed to preventable diseases.
‘Urgent action from other organisations and agencies is needed now’.
This year’s floods have hit people in Bentiu, the hardest, while over 800,000 people across the country have been affected.
Photo source: United Nations Photos