UNHCR returns to Lasu Refugee Settlement first time since 2016

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GENEVA, Switzerland:

UNHCR resumed its assistance to refugees in Lasu settlement located 32 km from Yei town on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, after it became accessible last week.

“UNHCR team undertook a mission to Lasu last week and we were able to assess the situation around Lasu refugee settlement and understand the damage the settlement and refugees have sustained since our last visit there in June 2016,” UNHCR Representative in South Sudan Johann Siffointe said, adding “the mission was possible thanks to the establishment of UNMISS’ presence in Yei town.”

We were able to assess the situation around Lasu refugee settlement and understand the damage the settlement and refugees have sustained since our last visit there in June 2016

While meeting with UNHCR, refugees informed that given the volatile situation in the area the majority of them continue to remain in hide-outs and that continued humanitarian assistance by UNHCR and partners will help re-build their confidence and prompt refugees to return to the settlement. At the meeting UNHCR distributed humanitarian assistance to 100 refugee households and informed that the assistance would be provided on a regular basis as the access to the settlement was restored and UNMISS committed to facilitate UNHCR visits to the settlement.

“UNHCR will continue to monitor the situation and work with partners in order to plan a commensurate response to the needs of refugees and internally displaced population in Lasu and around it,” UNHCR Representative said.

Prior to June 2016, around 9,600 refugees were living in Lasu refugee settlement. Most of them had to hide in the bush or crossed to DRC following the start of active military operations in the area.