December 20, 2016 (JUBA) – The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said its teams are providing lifesaving humanitarian assistance, including emergency medical support, to displaced and conflict-affected families in insecure and hard-to-reach areas of war-torn South Sudan.
- IDPs shelter near the UNMISS base in Wau (IOM/Gonzalez 2016)
IOM response teams, the agency said in a statement, are currently operating in the Greater Equatoria region, where people have had limited access to aid in recent months.
Humanitarian needs, it added, increased significantly in the whole country over 2016 as the crisis spread to previously peaceful areas, including the Greater Equatoria region.
The number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) across the country has now reached 1.87 million, according to IOM.
“Since the crisis erupted three years ago, millions of people have been unable to return to their homes. New shocks have affected both displaced and newly vulnerable populations, while placing increasing pressure on host communities and already stretched humanitarian operations,” said IOM South Sudan head, William Barriga.
For instance, in Mundri East and West counties of South Sudan’s Western Equatoria state, an inter-agency assessment conducted in October, reportedly identified 75,000 people who had been affected by several months of armed clashes and insecurity in the area.
Through a follow-up assessment in late November, IOM said managed to identify a need for shelter and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) assistance.
“In order to reach the most vulnerable households, IOM deployed an emergency preparedness and response team on 6 December to provide aid to approximately 4,000 households living in a highly volatile environment,” it stated.
IOM further said was improving local communities’ access to safe drinking water and conducting hygiene promotion activities and trainings.
On 15 December, it added, a rapid response team focusing on health was deployed to Yei, a Central Equatoria town, where IDPs and members of the host community are in need of humanitarian assistance due to insecurity issues.
“With Africa Action Help International and the South Sudanese Health Department, the health team immediately set up a temporary clinic to provide emergency primary health care, as well as immunizations and reproductive health care,” the agency stressed in the statement.
It further added, “Nurses, health promoters and community mobilizers were recruited and over 350 health consultations have been conducted to date.”