South Sudan

Humanitarian Situation Monitoring, Unity State, South Sudan, October - December 2020

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Introduction

Reported humanitarian needs remained high across Unity State from September to November, and slightly decreased in December 2020. From September to November, the continued impacts of flooding, insecurity, and the economic crisis, compounded existing humanitarian needs as affected populations were often unable to access essential services. In December, the onset of the dry season, the availability of harvests and improved access to humanitarian assistance reportedly led to a decrease in humanitarian needs. Nevertheless, needs remained high for conflict-affected populations in Central Unity, and flood-affected populations in Southern Unity.

Specific information about humanitarian needs in remote areas of the state remained scarce and difficult to obtain, creating barriers for humanitarian programming and targeting of assistance. To inform humanitarian actors working outside formal settlement sites, REACH has conducted assessments of hard-to-reach areas in South Sudan since December 2015. Data is collected every month through interviews with key informants (KIs) with knowledge of a settlement and triangulated with focus group discussions (FGDs). This Situation Overview uses this data and secondary sources to analyse changes in observed humanitarian needs across Unity State, from October to December 2020.

Methodology

To provide an indicative overview of the situation in hard-to-reach areas of Unity State, REACH uses primary data from key informants (KIs) who have recently arrived from, recently visited, or receive regular information from a settlement, or “Area of Knowledge” (AoK). Information for this report was collected from KIs in Bentiu Protection of Civilians (PoC) site, Nyal Town and Jamjang Town in Unity State in October, November, and December 2020.

In-depth interviews on humanitarian needs were conducted on a monthly basis using a structured survey tool. After data collection was completed, all data was aggregated at settlement level, and settlements were assigned the modal, or most credible response. When no consensus could be found for a settlement, that settlement was not included in reporting.

Only counties with interview coverage of at least 5% of all settlements1 in a given month were included in analysis. Due to access and operational constraints, the specific settlements assessed within each county each month vary. In order to reduce the likelihood that variations in data are attributable to coverage differences, over time analyses were only conducted for counties with at least 70% consistent payam2 coverage over the period. Quantitative findings were triangulated with focus group discussions (FGDs) with people displaced from hard-to-reach areas, and secondary sources. More details of the methodology can be found in the AoK ToRs.