IOM SOUTH SUDAN
IOM began operations in southern Sudan in 2005, establishing the IOM South Sudan Mission after the country’s independence in 2011. The mission is now one of IOM’s largest globally in terms of annual programme expenditures, with 450 staff across nine locations. After the December 2013 crisis, the mission consolidated support to thousands of vulnerable populations and internally displaced persons (IDPs), including those seeking shelter in United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Protection of Civilian (PoC) sites.
In displacement sites IOM established the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), a biometric registration system to improve service provision and track mobility trends; expanded PoC sites to alleviate congestion and mitigate flood risks; and built and managed Humanitarian Hubs that provided common accommodation, offices and logistics bases. Rapid response teams were deployed to reach communities in remote areas.
IOM’s strong presence across the IASC Humanitarian Clusters allows a comprehensive approach, significantly boosting the strength of interventions:
• Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster co-lead, and State Focal Point (SFP) in Upper Nile and Western Bahr el Ghazal;
• Shelter-Non Food Item (S-NFI) Cluster co-lead, SFP in Western Bahr el Ghazal, and managing 100% of the S-NFI core supply pipeline;
• Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Cluster SFP for Upper Nile, and managing a portion of the WASH core supply pipeline;
• Running the Common Transport Service (CTS), transporting humanitarian cargo for the Logistics Cluster;
• Active role in the Health Cluster, co-host of the HIV in Emergency sub-working group and rotational Chair of the Health Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) Working Group;
• Lead of the Mental Health Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Co-ordination Group.
IOM also manages the Rapid Response Fund (RRF) on behalf of USAID/OFDA to support international and national non-government organisations (I/NNGOs) swiftly implement specific emergency interventions; implements the Abyei Rehabilitation Initiative (ARI) to support conflict resolution and infrastructure rehabilitation in that area; and supports the government for migration-related policy and border management.
The combination of experienced teams, flexible programming and wide field based infrastructure have made IOM a central actor in the continuing humanitarian response. IOM and UNMISS continue to work together, building on existing relationships particularly in the PoCs. In collaboration with the humanitarian community, IOM will continue to meet the needs of the very vulnerable people in South Sudan through delivering services, and constructive engagement and advocacy. IOM welcomes the opportunity to continue work in in partnership with the Government of the Republic of South Sudan (GRSS).
In 2016, IOM scaled-up programming to respond the continued needs of thousands of vulnerable people, affected by the complex political, economic and security crisis. Three years after the emergence of civil conflict in December 2013, in 2016 insecurity spread to formerly stable areas. New shocks resulted in new and protracted displacement, particularly in Western Bahr el Ghazal (WBeG) and the Greater Equatoria region. In Upper Nile there were sporadic episodes of violence, including an attack on the Malakal PoC site in February and a fire that killed at least 25 people, and destroyed hundreds of shelters and two health care clinics. Violence in WBeG in June saw thousands of civilians threatened, fleeing to host communities and seeking protection at the UNMISS compound and community spaces in Wau town.
Displacement sites grew quickly as humanitarians swiftly mobilized to support people with emergency lifesaving assistance. In Unity, a resurgence of violence in areas around Leer and Rubkona counties in July saw people fleeing to safe areas, including the nearby Bentiu PoC. Most critically, a major battle in the capital Juba in July led to thousands of people fleeing to the UN bases and other secure areas. Many UN Agencies, I/NGOs, international diplomatic missions and private organizations relocated or evacuated non-essential staff from Juba. Approximately 414,500 South Sudanese left the country between July - December, including to Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Democratic Republic of Congo (UNHCR, 2016), alongside many foreign entrepreneurs and traders. These events set-back trust in the political process for communities striving towards stabilisation and an end to displacement scenarios. In 2016, the economy continued to decline, leading to a reduced ability for people to focus or invest in livelihood activities.
The UN-protected sites remain a lifesaving, last resort for many people caught in the conflict and CCCM coordination, advocacy and camp management activities remained crucial. Humanitarians and UNMISS continued to work and collaborate closely at the national and state level to support those seeking protection.