ADDIS ABABA, May 16 (Xinhua) -- The number of people arriving in Ethiopia due to the ongoing situation in Sudan has surpassed 25,700, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) has said.
"With hundreds of daily arrivals from Sudan in the past couple of weeks, Ethiopia's Metema border crossing point has now registered over 20,400 people, mostly Ethiopian returnees," the UNOCHA said in its latest situation update issued late Monday.
It also said recent arrivals of more than 5,300 in Almahal, in Ethiopia's Benishangul-Gumuz region -- which is now serving as a new crossing point for refugees -- require urgent assistance. And the priority needs remain food, water, sanitation and hygiene promotion, health and nutrition, shelter, non-food items and the delivery of protection services.
In Metema, which is so far the main crossing point, response activities have picked up in the second week of May. Protection partners have installed eight large transit shelter sheds, which has allowed for the relocation of a few hundred refugees and asylum seekers to this transit site, 6 km from the border crossing point, where they can find shelter, access water and sanitation facilities, the UNOCHA said.
It said the relocation also, to some extent, provides relief for the overpopulated town of Metema, which already faces a shortage of water resulting in the risk of disease outbreak due to hygiene in crowded areas. Medical teams continue to provide health screening and emergency support at the Metema border point.
Sudan has witnessed deadly armed clashes between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces in the capital city of Khartoum and other areas since April 15, with the two sides accusing each other of initiating the conflict.
The UNOCHA previously disclosed that the arrivals into Ethiopia amid the ongoing security situations in neighboring Sudan are from 60 nationalities, and the largest group are Ethiopians, Sudanese and Turkish. ■