· On December 14, 2011, the U.N. launched the 2012 Consolidated Appeal (CAP) for South Sudan, requesting approximately $763 million for 271 projects countrywide. As of March 2, the CAP remained 17 percent funded at approximately $128 million, with the U.S. Government (USG) committing approximately $81.5 million—or 63 percent—of the pledged total.
· As of February 23, relief agencies had registered approximately 140,000 people affected by inter-communal fighting that began in late December 2011 between the Lou Nuer, Murle, and Dinka ethnic groups in Jonglei State, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The ongoing response remains constrained by insecurity, a poor road network, and a limited humanitarian presence in remote areas. USAID continues to assist conflict-affected populations through emergency food distributions, ongoing programs, and new interventions funded through the USAID Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) Rapid Response Fund (RRF).
· Refugees continue to arrive in South Sudan due to continued fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states, Sudan. As of February 16, more than 26,000 refugees from Southern Kordofan State resided in Unity State, while approximately 72,000 refugees from Blue Nile State resided in Upper Nile State, according to OCHA. The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and partners continue to conduct a re-verification exercise at the Yida site in northern Unity State to better understand the size and composition of the refugee population.
· On February 12, South Sudanese Minister for Humanitarian Affairs Joseph Lual Achuil and Sudanese Minister for Social Welfare Amira Al-Fadil signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that affirms the right of South Sudanese nationals in Sudan to return to South Sudan voluntarily, safely, and with dignity. The MOU commits Sudan and South Sudan to drafting a comprehensive movement plan to facilitate the return of South Sudanese nationals who wish to return to South Sudan but omits river travel as a transport option. At present, the deadline by which South Sudanese nationals residing in Sudan—an estimated 500,000 to 700,000 people—must return to South Sudan or regularize their legal status in Sudan is April 8, 2012.
· The USG continues to respond to emerging and ongoing humanitarian needs across South Sudan while strengthening Government of the Republic of South Sudan (RoSS) capacity to provide and coordinate emergency assistance. In FY 2012 to date, the USG has provided more than $53 million in humanitarian assistance to South Sudan. With a focus on the reintegration of returnees, USAID/OFDA has provided nearly $2.3 million. FY 2012 support compliments the more than $94.3 million in humanitarian assistance provided by USAID/OFDA in FY 2011. USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) has contributed approximately 22,170 metric tons (MT) of emergency food aid, valued at nearly $44.4 million, while the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (State/PRM) has provided $6.5 million for multi-sectoral humanitarian assistance activities targeting refugees and vulnerable returnee populations countrywide.