Regional Strategic Overview
Since fighting broke out in South Sudan in December 2013, civilians have borne the brunt of the conflict. Despite the signature of a cessation of hostilities under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in January 2014, the situation on the ground remains dire. Violations of the agreement continue to be reported, active hostilities have continued in Upper Nile, Jonglei, and Unity States, and there are ominous signs that the conflict could spread to other parts of the country as the dry season approaches in the last quarter of 2014.
Conflict and fear of conflict have disrupted livelihoods of people, affected the normal functioning of markets and reduced food and livestock production. As many as 2.5 million people are projected to face severe food shortages in the first quarter of 2015, and 6.4 million people are estimated to need humanitarian assistance. In South Sudan’s neighbouring countries, the general nutrition condition of the newly arriving refugees remains a concern, with high levels of acute malnutrition among children under five years. In this context, fighting and hunger in South Sudan are likely to continue forcing people to seek asylum in the neighbouring countries of Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda.
Since the revised 2014 Regional Refugee Response Plan (Inter-Agency Appeal for the South Sudanese Refugee Emergency, January-December 2014) was launched in July 2014, population displacements inside and outside South Sudan have continued. As of mid-November, 1.4 million people were displaced inside South Sudan, while over 475,000 South Sudanese had sought refuge in neighbouring countries. Based on recent trends and the likely escalation of the conflict, coupled with the onset of the dry season, the number of South Sudanese refugees is expected to reach approximately 551,000 by the end of 2014, and new outflows of South Sudanese into neighbouring countries in 2015 are projected at some 270,000 individuals. If recent trends hold, the total number of refugees who have fled South Sudan since the conflict began could reach 821,000 in 2015. It is important to note that even though this number represents the most likely scenario, the humanitarian community will be prepared in case the actual number exceeds this planning figure.
In 2015 the humanitarian community will continue to respond to the regional consequences of the ongoing conflict in South Sudan, and the dire humanitarian needs of the South Sudanese refugees and their host communities. In this context, the 2015 Refugee Response Plan, elaborated through a consultative process coordinated by UNHCR involving UN agencies and NGO partners, and based on agreed planning figures among all partners, will provide a framework for inter-agency interventions for the assistance and protection of these refugees. The financial resources are included in this plan.
It should be recalled that, given the specific conditions and strategies applied in the operations, the budgetary and per capita values may differ from country to country.