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IOM registers significant relief intervention in parts of Jonglei state


November 22, 2015 (JUBA) - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said it has been providing lifesaving aid to displaced and vulnerable host community households in parts of remote areas of South Sudan’s war-ravaged Jonglei state. In the first half of November, it reached nearly 6,000 people with water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) assistance.

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IOM and partners help Jamam camp residents board buses to Kaya (photo credit: IOM)

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Saturday, IOM said in Kurwai payam, Canal County, for example, the organization registered and provided assistance to over 1,300 households, or nearly 6,000 people, in five villages between 28 October and 18 November.

“Vulnerable households received buckets, collapsible water containers, soap, filter cloths and water purification tablets,” the statement partly explains.

These supplies, it noted, are critical, particularly for internally displaced persons (IDPs) who carried few belongings when fleeing insecurity in Atar, northeast of Kurwai, in June. Most of the IDPs are women, children and the elderly.

However, it stressed that across South Sudan, the crisis which erupted on 15 December 2013 has placed significant strain on existing WASH infrastructure and practices, particularly in remote areas where IDPs have integrated into communities with already limited access to basic services.

Households in Kurwai, IOM’s current priority, they said, face poor living conditions, with no access to safe drinking water or sanitation facilities and poor hygiene practices.

In an effort to build the capacity of the community to encourage good hygiene and sanitation, IOM also trained ten hygiene promoters who will spread messages on the importance of handwashing, the dangers of open defecation, and tips on food and water hygiene among their own communities.

Another IOM WASH team is currently in Kolapach payam, also in Canal, to provide assistance to an estimated 3,500 vulnerable IDPs and host community households that are facing similarly dire WASH conditions.

In February 2015, IOM mobile teams conducted a WASH response in Kurwai to support IDPs who had fled insecurity in Kaldak.

Since December 2013, the crisis in South Sudan has displaced more than 2.3 million people, including nearly 1.7 million IDPs. Millions more are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, with approximately 34 per cent of the population facing severe food insecurity and malnutrition.


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