After decades of civil war South Sudan gained independence from Sudan on 9th July 2011. Despite great hopes that a new nation state would bring peace and security to the war torn population, the situation is now extremely critical. In late 2013 fighting erupted in the capital of Juba following an alleged coup attempt by the ousted vice-president, Riek Machar, against the president, Salva Kiir. Violence quickly spread throughout the country, escalating along ethnic lines.
More than 3 million people have since fled their homes and over 7 million are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection. Some 1.9 million South Sudanese are now displaced within the country, including more than 200,000 people who have sought protection and assistance in the Protection of Civilians (POC) sites located within the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) bases, whilst more than 1.5 million have fled to neighbouring countries. The prolonged conflict has shattered the economy, causing hyperinflation and disrupting markets and supplies. Crop production and rural livelihoods have been devastated and nearly 5 million people (more than 40% of the population) are believed to be severely food insecure and in need of assistance. The food crisis has reached such unprecedented levels that Famine was declared in parts of Unity State in February 2017.
On top of the immense humanitarian needs of the South Sudanese population, the country is also hosting more than 250,000 refugees, primarily from Sudan, of which the majority are staying in refugee camps located in Unity and Upper Nile States, where they are dependent on humanitarian support.
Following forty years of armed conflict, South Sudan is also littered with small arms, unexploded ordnances (UXOs) and mines.
About the programme
DRC has been operational in South Sudan since 2005, working with the overall aim of achieving durable solutions for displaced populations. The Danish Demining Group (DDG) started Humanitarian Mine Action in 2006.
The main programme objectives (2018-2020) are:
- To save lives and alleviate suffering among displaced people and their hosts
- To reduce displacement related risks and support and facilitate solutions
- To promote peaceful, inclusive and resilient societies and address root causes to displacement
DRC operates across Upper Nile and Unity States, both of which are heavily affected by conflict and have high numbers of IDPs and refugees in need of humanitarian assistance. DRC has operational bases in Maban, Bentiu, Malakal, Aburoc, Leer and Ajuntoc supported by a country-office in Juba.
DRC also has multi-sector mobile response teams based in Juba who are able to rapidly deploy to new and urgent humanitarian situations across the country at short notice to conduct assessments and response.
Programming components include:
- Protection, including general protection monitoring to identify people at risk and vulnerable households; Individual Protection Assistance (IPA) according to identified needs; Gender Based Violence (GBV) projects, and access to justice initiatives.
- Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) in four refugee camps, the Malakal PoC and in informal and spontaneous sites across the country
- Provision of emergency and transitional shelter within and outside of camp environments.
- Provision of camp/community infrastructure, including community centres, health clinics, solar lighting and educational facilities.
- Distribution of Non-Food Items (NFIs) such as plastic sheets, buckets, blankets, mats and cooking utensils.
- Food security and livelihoods (FSL) projects, including provision of seeds, tools, agricultural training and other initiatives to increase food production and decrease food insecurity amongst vulnerable households; cash for work activities to provide income during the lean season; and life-skills and vocational training programmes to strengthen people’s capacities and income-generating opportunities.
- Armed Violence Reduction (AVR) activities, including Conflict Management Education (CME), Community Safety projects and conflict analysis to help strengthen community capacities, social cohesion and reduce the risks of local level conflicts (implemented by DDG).
- Mine Risk Education (MRE) and removal of unexploded ordnances (UXOs) to improve safety and access for humanitarian agencies and beneficiaries (implemented by DDG).
- Multi-sector protection-focussed rapid assessments to support the humanitarian community in prioritising and delivering assistance to those most in need.
- Deployment of international NGO safety advisors who support the entire humanitarian community with security briefings, situation analysis, trainings and access discussions.
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