Refugees from Blue Nile, who have fled to neighboring South Sudan, say civilians are victims of aerial bombings by the Sudanese government. Sudan is waging war on rebels who were on the side of South Sudan during years of civil war. Hunger and malnutrition threaten the population but the UN World Food Programme is being denied access to areas not under the control of Sudan.
The refugees had to walk five days to reach South Sudan, surviving on food from the wild. Aid groups are providing high energy biscuits and a supply of food rations upon arrival at the refugee camps. The refugees say that many more people are hiding in the forests and have not been able to escape the war-torn area.
Relief supplies are being stocked in South Sudan in anticipation of more refugees arriving. Over 1,200 refugees have arrived in South Sudan's Upper Nile State since the middle of February.
While the border area remains in crisis, aid groups are also responding to victims of internal conflict in South Sudan's Jonglei State. In Jonglei's Akobo County, 2,800 more people were displaced in addition to 9,000 who were already receiving aid after being uprooted from their homes by inter-communal violence.
Helen Mould of Save the Children says that hunger is such a crisis in Akobo East that, "many children are eating just one meal a day and families are relying on wild fruits for their food." The charity runs health centers to provide small children with life-saving interventions such as Plumpy'Nut, which treats severe malnutrition.
The United Nations says its appeal for South Sudan is only eight percent funded by the international community.