IOM Targets Vulnerable Populations in Remote Areas of South Sudan

IOM rapid response teams are addressing the humanitarian needs of crisis-affected populations outside of displacement sites in South Sudan. Expanding the reach of lifesaving aid is crucial as the two-year conflict continues to increase vulnerability among internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host communities across the country.IOM conducts measles vaccination in Aweil West. IOM-2016 reduced

In Aweil West County, IOM recently completed a measles vaccination campaign after the Ministry of Health and the UN World Health Organisation (WHO) reported five cases of measles and officially confirmed an outbreak.

In partnership with Concern Worldwide and the Ministry of Health, IOM vaccinated an estimated 30,000 children under five years of age against the disease. The health rapid response team has now moved to Aweil South County to support an integrated polio and measles vaccination campaign, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and WHO, to be undertaken from 12–16 April.

“Expanding the reach of health services outside of displacement sites is critical, as the conflict and displacement have reduced access to basic services across the country. Children are extremely vulnerable to disease outbreaks, particularly in areas with low immunisation coverage,” explains IOM Migration Health Programme Manager Kelsi Kriitmaa.

In March, IOM conducted a two-week health rapid response mission to Weichdeng, Ayod County, where health care services are dire for both IDPs and host communities. An estimated 4,100 IDPs arrived in Weichdeng in late 2015 and early 2016 from Old Fangak and Piji Canal counties, according to local authorities.

The response supported emergency health care efforts of COSV, the main health care provider in the area. IOM health staff conducted nearly 2,000 medical consultations, providing curative care, vaccinations, maternal care and nutrition screening and treatment. The response team also delivered nutritional supplements to help treat cases of acute malnutrition.

IOM is also responding to shelter needs in Mundri West County, where civilians were cut off from humanitarian assistance for much of 2015. After distributing 1,500 survival kits in March, IOM returned to Mundri with national NGO Lacha Community and Economic Development (LCED) to assess current needs and plan for additional relief distributions in the area.

As part of an effort to provide assistance to areas surrounding the UN protection of civilians (PoC) site in Bentiu, IOM recently distributed shelter and relief items in Guit County. The distribution is part of a strategy to provide aid to vulnerable populations where they live, to reduce their need to travel to the congested PoC site, which is protecting an estimated 120,000 IDPs.

Since the war erupted in South Sudan in December 2013, more than 1.69 million people remain displaced internally and 706,600 people have fled to neighbouring countries. More than 200,000 IDPs are sheltering in UN displacement sites, while the majority has fled to remote areas across the country.

 

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Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs calls for an end to the suffering of civilians in South Sudan

UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, Kyung-wha Kang, today concluded a two-day visit to South Sudan, calling on all parties to the conflict to protect civilians and grant safe and unhindered humanitarian access.

ASG Kang travelled to South Sudan with the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, on 25 February, where they met Government officials and visited communities affected by the conflict. During her mission, Ms. Kang also met humanitarian partners and the diplomatic community and visited Malakal, where she witnessed the devastating impact of the armed violence that took place on 17 and 18 February in the UN Protection of Civilians (PoC) site.

“I am outraged by what I have seen in Malakal,” declared the Assistant Secretary-General. “Civilians who had sought safety in the PoC have been attacked, killed, traumatized and displaced once more, with whole sections of the PoC completely and systematically burnt down and destroyed, including medical clinics and schools. Those responsible for these heinous acts must be held to account.”

The two-year conflict in South Sudan has taken a brutal and deadly toll on civilians. Recently, fighting has spread to new areas, including in Wau and Mundri, and there continue to be reports of people being raped and killed and of homes and crops being destroyed and damaged by fighting.

“Despite the peace agreement, civilians in this country continue to face destitution, destruction, death and devastation, and the humanitarian needs continue to grow,” said Ms. Kang. “This is unacceptable. The fighting must stop now. People caught in the middle must be protected and humanitarians granted immediate and unhindered access to all those who need aid and protection.”

ASG Kang appealed to the international community to act immediately to avert an even greater tragedy in South Sudan, as humanitarian needs are higher now than ever.

The South Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan for 2016 is currently only 6.5 per cent funded, including the US$21 million of Central Emergency Response Fund allocation announced by the Secretary-General in Juba on 25 February, leaving a gap of nearly $1.21 billion dollars. Some $220 million is needed without delay to ensure that vital supplies can be procured and delivered during the dry season, before nearly 60 per cent of the country is again unreachable by road.

 

National Prisons Service of South Sudan Takes Unprecedented Steps in Updating Processes by Inaugurating New Vocational Training

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Acting Minister of Interior Gen. Achuil Tito Madut, (R) UNDP Country Director Balázs Horváth (C) and National Prisons Service of South Sudan (NPSSS) personnel admire the new prison personnel ID cards launched at Juba Central Prison. Photo Credit: Ministry of Interior Communications Unit

The National Prisons Service of South Sudan (NPSSS) inaugurated their new vocational training workshop, launched prison personnel ID cards, and released the first-ever Inmate Statistics Report Thursday at Juba Central Prison. The function was enthusiastically presided over by Hon Acting Minister of Interior and Wildlife Conservation General Achuil Tito Madut, NPSSS Director General Gen. Henry Aguar Kuany, UNDP Country Director Balázs Horváth, members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labour and Human Resources, development partners and senior officials from the prisons, police, organized forces and invited guests.

The renovated, well-equipped Vocational Training Workshop will be utilized to train inmates in eight disciplines: carpentry, masonry, electrician, welding, vehicle mechanics, agriculture, hair dressing and tailoring. In the first batch, 134 (9 female) inmates will be trained across the eight trades, and 91 (21 female) prison staff will be trained as trainers. Vocational training for inmates aims to check recidivism by imparting technical skills to the inmates to enable them to earn their livelihoods and facilitate their rehabilitation in society when released.

The vocational training program is an innovative attempt to ensure sustainability and promote indigenous expertise. The project engaged the Ministry of General Education and Ministry of Labor to finalize the curriculum in-line with the approved curriculum being used in other technical schools in South Sudan. The line ministries also assisted in the selection of 16 trainers and two supervisors, making the entire staff South Sudanese citizens. Furthermore, NPSSS expects to market the products manufactured in the workshop to make the workshop self-sustainable.

“This is indeed a red letter day in the history of the NPSSS, of which the entire service can be justifiably proud,” said UNDP Country Director Balázs Horváth in remarks delivered at the launch. “UNDP is committed to supporting the implementation of the Peace Agreement signed in August 2015. Support to NPSSS will continue as envisaged in the Agreement under the overarching support to security sector reform.”

“This exercise will help us determine the exact number of personnel on the rolls of the prisons and remove those whose details cannot be verified. This will also help in cleaning up the payrolls. I will recommend that henceforth personnel will need to produce their ID cards to receive their salary,” said Gen. Madut.

The prison personnel ID project was implemented in phases with support from UNDP and United Nations Police (UNPOL). Implementation of the project involved development of the database, establishment of 11 Personnel Registration Database Units at national and state levels, capacity development of staff, manual and computerized registration of all prison personnel, data validation and physical verification of the entire NPSSS rank and file. As part of the final phase of the project, ID cards are being issued to eligible prison personnel. UNDP has procured five ID card printing machines and accessories required to provide ID cards to all 18,000 prison personnel in South Sudan.

“It is heartening to see that the entire exercise is being led and conducted by the NPSSS,” said Gen. Kuany.

The data compiled in the Inmates Statistics Report can be utilized for planning and resource allocation and, more significantly, to improve inmate care. NPSSS is responsible for approximately 6,500 inmates in prisons in South Sudan at any point in time.

“With support once again from our UNDP partners, NPSSS standardized the process of inmate statistics compilation and analysis. Not only were the forms reviewed and NPSSS personnel trained in utilizing IT equipment provided for this purpose by UNDP, the statistics are now published as annual reports,” said Gen. Kuany.

Support for improving living conditions in prisons, creation of facilities for juveniles and improving the Prison Academy was requested by NPSSS.

“On behalf of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan, I would like to express our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the Kingdom of Netherlands for their generous support to the prisons service,” said Gen. Madut.

UNHCR Helps Document Internally Displaced People At Risk Of Statelessness

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Displace Person in Mikaman in South Sudan

Chol Jacob was among half a million men, women and children who are at risk of becoming stateless in South Sudan, according to a UNHCR survey.

Many have difficulty proving their links to South Sudan since the secession from Sudan in 2011, particularly those who were born in Sudan before South Sudan’s independence. They had no means to get identity and nationality documents or was ignorant about how important it was to be able to prove their nationality.

“I always feared I could be arrested or detained because I had no documents to prove my identity and nationality,” said Jacob. “I could not afford paying for all the documents necessary to get a national identity card.”

After attaining his diploma, the 24 year old avoided venturing into Juba city centre to apply for a job for nearly two years. He had found shelter in a collective centre for internally displaced people (IDP) in Mahad, in the outskirts of South Sudan’s capital after he was forced to leave his home in Jonglei state when the conflict broke out in December 2013.

Jacob found renewed hope when UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and South Sudan’s Directorate of Nationality, Passport and Immigration (DNPI) launched the third in a series of campaigns in mid-December 2015 to document IDP lacking identity documents in key locations in South Sudan.

This initiative is part of a broader project designed to reduce the risk of statelessness in South Sudan and help people like Jacob reclaim their nationality. Launched in June 2013, this project has helped so far more than 9,000 people across South Sudan prove their origin.

“I am excited. At the moment, I can travel wherever I want and I can go apply for jobs,” said Jacob.

National identification is a requirement for South Sudanese nationals to access public services and to find jobs in both the public and private sector – and for students to gain access to government scholarships.

DNPI’s Project Coordinator Kuol Akon said the campaign was”milestone” in addressing South Sudan’s statelessness. “This is the second fruit of this project in Juba. We still have a long way to go to achieve our objectives, but we will work together to make it happen,” Akon added. The citizenship national ID cards allow the holders to claim and exercise their rights as foreseen in the national constitution.

“You can seek services and employment anywhere with these cards without discrimination. If you have your national ID card and wish to travel abroad, you can apply for a passport,” Akon said.

UNHCR has so far invested USD 200,000 to support DNPI in identifying and issuing identity documents to persons at risk of statelessness, in addition to providing DNPI staff with technical expertise. “It is a key intervention to help vulnerable people like Jacob enjoy the same rights as other fellow citizens,” said Richard Lou, UNHCR Protection Officer who leads the project in Juba.

South Sudan has more than 1.6 million internally displaced people and another 263,000 refugees from neighboring countries. UNHCR works with the government to protect and assist refugees and persons at risk of statelessness and is part of the multi-agency response to internally displaced people, as lead of the Protection Cluster.

 

World Vision Partners With Organizations To Save Lives In Upper Nile, Fashoda County

The outbreak of violence in South Sudan in December 2013 has resulted in the displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians. This consequently led to hunger in many parts of the country, some which are so remote they are nearly inaccessible. World Vision has partnered with many organizations to deliver food and health services to the civilians in need, mobilizing teams to places with no phone networks to ensure civilians win the battle to live.

The world vision worked in number of locations throughout Upper Nile before the latest outbreak of violence, aids hundreds of thousands of people food water and child protection programmes.

Elizabeth Walumbe Nutrition Manager World Vision said here they manage moderately and severely malnourished children, and now they are very happy because they have open a new side for the malnourished children where they will managing them previously they used to manage them out patience treatment center for ICRC, but now they have their own in Oriny.

Elizabeth mentioned that the condition of the children according to the screening that World Vision, WFP and UNICEF did two weeks ago we found children who came from far who brought by their parents from far some were servilely malnourished servilely meaning some could not even walk, a child of four years could not work and can not stand by themselves.

We have servilely malnourished children and moderately malnourished they were many, because there was a gap of three months when there was a crisis in Oriny most of the community scatters into the bush and also humanitarian aids, aids workers went out looking for safety, but now they are back and the community has come back, and in Oriny we are now concentrating on the people who are even outside the community because the situation was not good, Elizabeth said.

She also added that with the food that are now been dropping by the WFP and the nutrition centers that has now open we will be monitoring them like on the weekly bases they come to us and we weight them and see the children have gain some weights and also we give them food for the treatment.

Elizabeth also said, we have a supply plat peanuts for the servilely malnourished children under the five years and we get those food from the World Food Programs and the UNICEF that also support us to help the children who are malnourished and we have plenty of them, but normally we order like on the monthly bases if we see that the supply is going down because we have eleven health facilities in Fashoda alone and outside Fashoda we have three more like Melute and Tut in Manyo.

On the other hand the Director for Oriny PCC Dr. Peter Obeng said they have so many patience in Oriny many people line up here specially children under five years and there is a lot of challenges because they have a lot of cases of malaria which are affected most of the people here plus accurate water diarrhea here too. We have a shortage of drugs here in Oriny we don’t have drugs here we need more drugs so that we can be able help those innocent people.

He also mentioned that the medicines that they are using are the one of last year because the incident that happens in Upper Nile has affected them in Oriny that is why they are unable to receive any medicine till now.

We need help and the support because our health facility is really down and we need it to be support in terms of drugs, and also water because the water that people are drinking here is really dirty water that is why there is a lot of sickness in the area, Dr. Peter said.

No medical assistance available in Leer

No medical assistance available in Leer, South Sudan, following repeated lootings of MSF facility

Juba, October 6, 2015 – Civilian populations in Leer and Mayendit Counties have once again been deprived of access to urgently needed medical and humanitarian assistance after a Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) compound in Leer was looted twice by well-organized armed men on October 2nd and 3rd. As a result, MSF was forced to suspend medical activities and evacuate its team from Leer.

“MSF strongly condemns these armed robberies of its medical personnel and facilities,” says MSF Emergency Manager Tara Newell. “These incidents have forced MSF to suspend its medical activities in Leer and they are responsible for depriving the population of urgently needed medical assistance.”

On Friday, October 2nd, amid renewed clashes, MSF was looted by well-organized armed men who entered its compound with their weapons, intimidated MSF staff with threat of violence and stole medical supplies, vehicles, technical equipment and personal belongings. MSF remained in Leer to continue providing medical assistance to war-wounded patients who were receiving treatment at the time of the incident.

The MSF compound and personnel were then looted a second time by the same well-organized armed group on Saturday, October 3rd, rendering it impossible for MSF to continue its medical activities. As a result, MSF has been forced to temporarily suspend its operations in Leer and evacuate its team. MSF staffs were not injured during the incidents and were able to provide treatment to five war-wounded patients before evacuating.

“MSF’s medical activities in Leer have been a vital lifeline to vulnerable populations suffering from malaria, malnutrition and other illnesses,” says Newell. “Following these unacceptable incidents, there is no medical actor left on the ground in Leer to provide life-saving medical care.”

Access to humanitarian assistance in southern Unity State has been severely limited since May, when an upsurge in fighting and violence against civilians forced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes and humanitarian actors to evacuate. In July, MSF was the only medical organization able to resume activities in Leer with a small medical team, which has also been providing mobile clinics for displaced populations in Leer and northern Mayendit counties. This is the third time MSF has been forced to suspend medical activities in Leer since conflict began in South Sudan in December 2013.

MSF is deeply concerned for the health of vulnerable populations in Leer and denounces the targeting of its medical operations.  MSF demands an explanation from those responsible for these unacceptable incidents and for the return of its humanitarian supplies and equipment. MSF remains committed to providing urgently needed, neutral medical assistance in Leer but cannot resume its operations until the appropriate authorities address these incidents. MSF calls for all armed actors to respect international humanitarian law, which protects medical facilities and staff.

IOM Helps Prevent Disease at UN Displacement Sites in South Sudan

IOM health worker treats a patient at a UN displacement site in South Sudan. © IOM/Bannon 2015

IOM health worker treats a patient at a UN displacement site in South Sudan. © IOM/Bannon 2015

South Sudan – To help stem the spread of disease in crowded displacement sites in South Sudan, IOM health teams are promoting preventative health care, including two cholera vaccination campaigns benefiting 113,600 internally displaced persons (IDPs).

From 13–16 August and 2–5 September, IOM, with the support of its partners, conducted a two-round oral cholera vaccination (OCV) campaign at the UN protection of civilians (PoC) site in Malakal, Upper Nile State, reaching more than 42,300 people with at least one dose of the vaccine.

Preventing the spread of the deadly disease is critical, as the recent influx of IDPs has led to crowded living conditions for the estimated 45,400 people seeking shelter at the site.

IOM also led a two-round OCV at the UN PoC site in Bentiu, Unity State, in June, vaccinating more than 71,200 people against the disease. As hundreds of IDPs continue to arrive at the PoC each day, additional cholera vaccines have been dispatched to the site. The Bentiu PoC site is providing protection and shelter for 116,700 people, an increase of more than 50 per cent since April.

“These preventative efforts are particularly crucial as the country faces a number of water-borne disease outbreaks, only one of which is cholera. With the start of the rainy season, IOM clinics have seen a more than doubling of confirmed malaria cases since mid-July,” explains IOM South Sudan Migration Health Programme Coordinator Haley West.

IOM provides diagnostics and treatment for malaria and supports malaria prevention for pregnant women. Health promoters also spread messages on good hygiene habits, which are a vital element of disease prevention.

At IOM’s clinics in Bentiu, Malakal and Renk, Upper Nile, health care professionals also regularly vaccinate children against diseases, such as measles and polio. During the past two weeks alone, IOM administered routine vaccinations for more than 1,100 children under five.

Since a cholera outbreak was declared on 23 June, health providers have reported 1,735 cholera cases, including 46 deaths, in South Sudan, according to South Sudan’s Ministry of Health and the UN World Health Organization (WHO).

The USAID Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) Rapid Response Fund and the Government of Japan funded the OCV campaign in Malakal.

Source: IOM