South Sudan

DTM South Sudan: Bentiu PoC Site Population Count (October 2020)

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The Bentiu Protection of Civilian (PoC) site was established in December 2013. As of October 2020, 131,268 individuals (30,968 households) are biometrically registered as active beneficiaries in the site representing a decrease by 33,947 individuals since January 2020 due to deactivations of registrations following three consecutive no-shows at food distributions. Recognizing that there have been significant population changes since the last overall biometric registration / verification, IOM DTM conducts regular population counts to monitor population dynamics and displacement trends showing that the actual number of persons currently living at Bentiu PoC site remains lower than the registered total.

As per October 2020 population count findings, Bentiu PoC site's population stands at 97,321 individuals (15,080 households) in 11,529 inhabited shelters (on average 9 individuals per shelter). While COVID-19 developments in Greater Unity are expected to impact communities within the state, the current absence of an area lockdown/complete movement restrictions for Bentiu PoC site residents results in regular inflow and outflow mobility between the site and surrounding locations within national curfew hours (daily median of 11,940 individuals entering and 12,638 individuals exiting throughout the month of October). The closure of schools following COVID-19 risk prevention measures has resulted in observable increase in movement of children / youth leaving in order to support family outside Bentiu PoC Site (domestic activities, farming/cultivation etc.). Cross-border movement restrictions have reduced the number of new arrivals – a large proportion of whom had been arriving from neighboring Sudan to join their families in the PoC site throughout the past year.

According to indicative Displacement Site Flow Monitoring (DSFM) findings, Bentiu PoC site saw an increase in intended permanent exits between February and May 2020 – a trend that didn’t continue into June and the beginning of July 2020. The vast majority of permanent exits during these four months was to locations within Unity State (93%) with most heading to Leer (57%), Mayendit (12%) and Koch (6%) counties. Over 90 per cent of this leaving population left for former homes. Half of the leaving population was made up of women and girls between the ages of 6 and 45 years (49%) compared to 23 per cent of the same age group for males. Over threequarters had left family behind at the site indicating that these were cautious exits of households preferring to keep one leg within the PoC site.

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