From the Field: PAE Supporting Refugees in Upper Nile, South Sudan

February 12, 2015

By Tom Callahan, PAE Vice President for Government and Public Affairs. Photo credit: Tom Freccia.

In supporting the U.N. Refugee Agency’s (UNHCR) efforts in Upper Nile state in South Sudan during the past two years, PAE has built and maintained 250 kilometers of gravel roads; maintained the heavily used 1400-meter gravel airstrip that provides vital access; surveyed and laid out the site of the newest refugee community; drilled more than 50 boreholes for plentiful, clean water; and organized an airlift to temporarily evacuate  300 humanitarian workers in December 2013 when internal fighting erupted in South Sudan.

In a December 2014 interview, UNHCR Representative to South Sudan Cosmas Chanda said, “We are in a business where our customers [refugees] never say when they are coming, and when they come, they come in their thousands. So one of the things that we look for is a company that can provide service rapidly over very good quality. And for someone to do those two, you need to have a heart for the people. We believe and we see that people working for PAE have a big heart for refugees.”

Chanda, a 25-year veteran of UNHCR, and Program Officer Gwen Le Couster were kind enough to go on the record as part of a film that PAE produced highlighting this work. We at PAE are honored to support international efforts to provide humanitarian response to this ongoing refugee crisis. 

The original article can be found on the Council of International Development Companies' website.