LRA-affected IDP assessment - Western Equatoria State, South Sudan, 19th-31st May 2011
The main objective of the inter‐agency assessment for the LRA IDPs in six Counties of Western Equatoria State (WES) was to assess their food security status and possible needs which can be used to formulate an exit strategy for IDPs who have continuously been assisted for even up to 3 years. The interagency assessment was conducted from 19‐31 May 2011 by a team led by WFP. Other partners were UNOCHA, RSCO, IOM, UNICEF, UNHCR, FAO, CAFOD, WVI, INTERSOS and SSRRC. At least 300 IDPs were interviewed through focus group interviews in Tambura, Ezo, Nzara, Maridi, Yambio, and Ibba Counties.
The main livelihood in WES is based on agriculture. Some estimated 90 percent of the IDPs have managed to cultivate in the first 2011 agricultural season (June/July FSMS round 4 2011) either by the IDP camp or at their home fields. Therefore these IDPs are likely to have access to their own crop harvest in July and August thereby reducing the reliance on other food sources including food aid. There has been some dispute over land cultivated in the proximity of the camps.
The assessment found out that the main source of food for most IDPs was food aid (51 percent). Own food production accounted for about 14 percent, and markets for 16 percent.
IDPs also seem to have somewhat equal access to basic services and opportunities however increase in population has been identified as a burden to the host community which has often resulted in disagreement between IDPs and host community more especially over land. The sources of income generation by working households are available so in general IDPs should have reasonable access to food and services.
The IDPs identified the poorest as the “classically” vulnerable people (elderly, disabled etc), people relying on dayto‐ day income and those who have a small scale farm as middle class whereas salaried employers, big scale farmers with several assets were the better‐off. Interestingly, several groups mentioned laziness and lack of interest to look for work as attributes for being poor.
The unpredictable security situation still remains a major constraint to normal livelihood activities among the IDPs in WES. This has constrained agricultural activities in areas of origins for the IDPs and has been the main factor keeping the people displaced. Security and protection was the highest priority for the IDPs.
In the light of the above, the following are some of the recommendations for the IDPs:
• The Government should prioritize the provision of security/protection for the IDPs in their places of origin by deploying security forces.
• Local authorities should liaise with IDP leaders in sharing security related information and advise them about the latest security situation.
• Provide 3 months ration from June to August for IDPs who were displaced since January 2011. This ration should cover the food needs until the harvest of short term crops in August 2011.
• IDPs displaced more than one year ago should be phased‐out from any further food assistance in line with the Government policy to reduce dependency on external assistance.
• In case IDPs are displaced from locations in reasonable distance, the local authorities should support the IDPs to access their own land as much as possible for cultivation, even if they should return to displacement locations to sleep.
• To encourage return after phase‐out of assistance for the long term IDPs, a return package containing seeds, tools, other non‐food items and a small food ration could be established. This requires coordination between Government and partners.
• Provision of additional social services such as water points, schools and health facilities in the areas of origin would make it attractive for IDPs to return to their homes.
• As a longer term solution to avoid food aid dependency, there should be a clear provided guideline on how long displaced persons/populations should be assisted, for how long and by whom.
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