Speed Reads

crisis in south sudan

The world's largest refugee camp didn't even exist a year ago

This time last year, the Bidi Bidi refugee camp in Uganda didn't exist; today, it's home to more than 270,000 people who fled war and famine in South Sudan.

What was once just brush is now crisscrossed with roads and dotted with buildings. Bidi Bidi opened in August 2016, and by the end of the year, 260,000 people had already made their way there. It is now the world's largest refugee camp, the U.N. says, larger than the Dadaab camp in Kenya that has welcomed Somali refugees for more than two decades.

At least 50,000 people have died in the conflict in South Sudan since it began in 2013, and more than 800,000 refugees have fled to Uganda; on Tuesday alone, 3,000 refugees crossed the border, NPR reports. The U.N. says this is the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world, and humanitarian needs have reached "unprecedented levels."