Renk Town is located in Renk County, Upper Nile State, near South Sudan’s border with Sudan. Since the formation of South Sudan in 2011, Renk Town has been a major transit point for returnees from Sudan and, since the beginning of the current conflict in 2013, for internally displaced people (IDPs) fleeing conflict in Upper Nile State. Renk was classified by the Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) Analysis Workshop in August 2019 as Phase 4 ‘Emergency’ with 50% of the population in either Phase 3 ‘Crisis’ (65,997 individuals) or Phase ‘4’ Emergency’ (28,284 individuals). Additionally, Renk was classified as Phase 5 ‘Extremely Critical’ for Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM), suggesting the prevalence of acute malnutrition was above the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended emergency threshold with a recent REACH MultiSector Needs Assessment (MSNA) establishing a GAM of above 30%.4 A measles outbreak was declared in June 2019 and access to clean water was reportedly limited, as flagged by the Needs Analysis Working Group (NAWG) and by international NGOs working on the ground.
Based on the convergence of these factors causing high levels of humanitarian need and the possibility for larger-scale returns coming to Renk County from Sudan, REACH conducted this Area-Based Assessment (ABA) in order to better understand the humanitarian conditions in, and population movement dynamics to and from, Renk Town.
This ABA was developed in order to support humanitarian actors in South Sudan to identify priority needs and vulnerabilities of the overall population living in areas of return, to evaluate the functionality and accessibility of basic services and critical infrastructure in the assessed area and to provide an analysis of protection concerns and related topics such as access to justice, housing, land and property (HLP) and social cohesion. A mixed methods approach was used, combining analysis of secondary data and collection of quantitative and qualitative primary data (see Methodology section). Data was collected in Renk town from 23 September to the 10 October 2019 through 439 household (HH) interviews, 8 focus group discussions (FGDs), 4 key informant (KI) interviews and 45 mapped infrastructure facilities.