Emergency Response and Early Recovery for IDPs, Returnees and Vulnerable Host Communities in South Sudan
Geneva, 18 June 2012
1. Description of the emergency
South Sudan continues to face a complex humanitarian crisis characterized by internal displacement, returnees, natural disasters and lack of basic services. The country is faced with a myriad of challenges despite commendable strides towards peace since its independence on the 9th of July 2011. The biggest threat to peace is the conflict with Sudan over border demarcation, security protocols and oil sharing mechanisms. The government of South Sudan has shut down its oil production over these disagreements which nearly led into an all out war. In addition, intertribal conflict is rife within South Sudan; fueled by both militia activities and the history of cattle raids and disputes over water and pasture resources. The government facilitated a peace building process that resulted in relative calm in Jonglei, which hitherto had seen increased inter-communal violence. Even with the peace agreement signed sporadic cattle raids remain, although at a reduced rate, and affected communities have not yet returned to their homes. The oil shutdown and the low rainfall have seen the economy of South Sudan rapidly contracting and analysts fear that it could worsen. Recent assessments by ACT members and partners reveal that the shortage of food is becoming even more pronounced.
- Internal conflicts have displaced over 165,000 within south Sudan. At least 160 000 refugees have been registered in Upper Nile and Unity camps and new arrivals are coming at the rate of 4,000 per day in recent weeks[i].
- Potential flooding in Jonglei and in Aweil, during this rainy season, will result in contamination of drinking water and may force whole villages to temporarily relocate to higher grounds and may result in huge water, sanitation and hygiene problems as well as increased malaria morbidities.
- Almost 400,000 people have returned from Sudan to South Sudan after independence and many of these people depend on humanitarian assistance for their well being.
- Over 100,000 displaced people who fled conflict in Abyei remain in Warrap state depending on humanitarian aid, some have expressed interest to engage in farming activities and not many are planning to return to Abyei.
- A combination of insecurity and the lower than normal rainfall, has resulted in a food gap acknowledged by the government and UN agencies which might result in malnutrition especially among children and in pregnant and lactating mothers. There are genuine fears of famine in some areas of South Sudan with the government unable to provide basic services due to the oil shutdown.
3. ACT Alliance response
ACT members have been working together through joint and coordinated appeals in emergency preparedness and response for the past 3 years reaching at least 100,000 people with essential humanitarian aid. ACT Members would like to launch a follow-on appeal estimated at US$3,265,000 to continue supporting communities, churches, local partner organizations and local authorities respond to emerging humanitarian needs in the coming year.
The Sudan Council of Churches has started a liaison office for the Western Region (LOWR) that will handle emergency response for people fleeing violence from Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile State. The Office has carried out an assessment in Unity and Upper Nile States where response activities will be implemented.
Christian Aid and other ACT members have also carried out an assessment to identify the needs of the internally displaced people in Jonglei and Warrap State.
The ACT members involved in this appeal will be Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), Lutheran World Federation (LWF), InterChurch Organization for Development Co-operation & Kerk in Actie (ICCO&KIA), Christian Aid (CA), the Sudan Council of Churches (SCC), Finn Church Aid (FCA), DanChurchAid (DCA) and the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).
4. Key Planned Activities
ACT members aim to support at least 100,000 people with essential humanitarian support in Jonglei, Eastern Equatoria, Northern Bahr El Ghazal, Unity, Upper Nile and Warrap States through the following activities:
- Ongoing needs assessments to further ascertain the needs and indentify vulnerable household beneficiaries.
- Support to healthcare provision to IDPs and vulnerable host communities.
- Water, sanitation and hygiene promotion activities to IDPs and returnee families.
- Prepositioning and distribution of Non Food Items (supplied by IOM or bought from ACT resources).
- Psychosocial support, trauma healing and community based protection for communities affected or at risk of being affected by both intertribal violence and the violence between Sudan and South Sudan Forces.
- Provision of emergency education supplies to internally displaced households.
- Provision of shelter materials for returnees to build semi permanent dwellings.
- Advocacy to promote peace in South Sudan and to encourage funding to humanitarian appeals including the WFP appeal for food distribution in South Sudan.
- Livelihoods (seeds & tools) to promote sustainable food security for IDPs, returnees and host communities.
Handling logistics in South Sudan is challenging with the weak road infrastructure particularly difficult in the rainy season. In addition, insecurity remains a challenge especially in the border areas where sporadic clashes are reported between Sudan and South Sudan forces.
Any funding indication or pledge should be communicated to Jean-Daniel Birmele, ACT Chief Finance Officer (email@example.com)
[i] Figures are drawn from various UN, IOM and partners assessment reports. The reports are available upon request.