ADJUMANI DISTRICT-UGANDA: During a Catholic Sunday prayer service held under the shade of a tree, refugees sit and pray as priests deliver their sermon.The Onward Struggle: A refugee crisis in Uganda deepens as South Sudanese Refugees are forced to leave their country behind. The outbreak of violence in the capital Juba last July created a humanitarian crisis in northern Uganda as thousands of South Sudanese sought refugee there. The country is hosting the lion’s share of South Sudanese refugees, with 373,626, more than a third of them arriving since early July.
The fighting was a major setback to peace efforts in South Sudan, coming as the troubled new nation prepared to celebrate its fifth anniversary, amid a short lived peace deal between supporters of President Salva Kiir and former First Vice President Riek Machar. South Sudan now joins Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia as countries which have produced more than a million refugees. While some South Sudanese may attempt to head for Europe, the numbers within east Africa are comparable in scale to recent refugee flows to Europe from the Middle East, and their traumatic experiences due to war are often just as hellish. More than 85 percent of the refugees in this recent influx are women and children. Many children have lost one or both of their parents, some forced to become primary caregivers to siblings.
With the large influx of refugees in July 2015, relief agencies had to implement stringent food rationing in the refugee settlements. Currently the international humanitarian organizations lack the necessary funds to meet the needs of the more than 200,000 refugees.