UNICEF South Sudan Humanitarian Situation Report #107, 1 - 15 April 2017

Report
from UN Children's Fund
Published on 15 Apr 2017

Highlights

  • Sporadic but intense violence continues to affect the Greater Equatoria region, with over 575,000 displaced people having crossed the border into Uganda since July 2016. Insecurity and access restrictions across the country are affecting implementation of UNICEF humanitarian programme.
  • In an effort to scale up and re-establish services in Lopa Lafon and Torit, Eastern Equatoria in areas that are projected to be in a critical nutrition situation in coming months, UNICEF with partners has established seven outpatient therapeutic programme (OTP) services for treatment of acute malnutrition.
  • Transmission of cholera remains low but persistent, with 36 new cases recorded during the reporting period. UNICEF continues to support cholera prevention and response activities in affected areas.

Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs

The nutrition situation in many parts of South Sudan remains critical with a global acute malnutrition (GAM) rate above the WHO 15 per cent emergency threshold. Of greatest concern is Unity state, with central and southern Unity projected to be in famine from February to July 2017, as well as Jonglei state and the Greater Equatoria region, which have experienced a recent upsurge of violence that has caused disruption of basic services and displacement of people. The unstable security conditions, food insecurity and malnutrition rates in southern Unity remain unchanged, with insecurity restricting access for humanitarian interventions. The on-going response in many areas is restricted by insecurity. In Eastern Equatoria, disruption of both health and nutrition services has hindered lifesaving interventions in these counties and partly contributed to the elevated rates of excess mortality recorded in Lopa Lafon and Torit town during January 2017 assessments.

The famine-affected and famine-threatened areas also continue to experience an increased incidence of illness, especially acute respiratory infections, diarrhoea and malaria. There is an increasing demand for healthcare services, however some facilities have been deserted as the communities move closer to available water sources. Health facilities have been looted and there has been an increase in casualties in need of medical assistance, and there has been reports of an increase in cattle raiding.

Sporadic but intense violence continues to affect the Greater Equatoria region. In the first week of April, violence affecting the town of Parajok in Eastern Equatoria caused the displacement of the entire town’s population, with over 6,000 people crossing the border into Uganda and many others hiding in the bushlands in surrounding areas. Meanwhile, a recent assessment mission to several bomas around Yei revealed that the population is suffering from a lack of access to food and clean water, with movement outside the villages restricted due to insecurity. Access to health care facilities for this population is extremely limited or non-existent, and there has been a high number of reports of sexual violence. Since July 2016, a total of 575,983 people have crossed the border into northern Uganda, which is now host to the largest refugee settlement in Africa.

The urban water systems in Juba, Central Equatoria and Wau, Western Bahr el Ghazal are currently operating as normal, after months of on-and-off closures due to the unavailability of fuel.

Cumulatively, 5,995 cholera cases (36 new cases during the reporting period) including 146 deaths (case fatality rate of 2.44 per cent) have been reported from 14 counties in nine states since the initial case was reported on 18 June 2016. The probable risk factors fueling transmission include the use of untreated water from the River Nile and water tankers, lack of household chlorination of drinking water, eating food from unregulated roadside food vendors or makeshift markets, and open defecation/poor latrine use. These factors are being amplified by the economic crisis and restricted humanitarian access, particularly in the counties of southern Unity.

New cases of varicella (chicken pox) continue to be reported in Wau. Similarly, the transmission of measles in Wau continues, with 53 cases reported from Nazareth and Cathedral internally displaced persons (IDP) sites.