More than 3,300 internally displaced people return to Baliet County, Upper Nile
Almost 7 million people facing critical lack of food
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More than 3,300 internally displaced people return to Baliet County, Upper Nile A total of 3,324 internally displaced people, mainly women and children, have returned from Melut to their places of origin in Baliet County in Upper Nile. The return exercise was conducted between 7 and 28 May 2019, spearheaded by the Upper Nile Solutions Working Group. The joint approach involving humanitarian organizations, UNMISS and the government helped minimize the cost of the return and was the first movement of displaced people of this scale out of a settlement site in Upper Nile.
The effort to relocate the families followed an appeal by IDPs in five settlements in Melut town to the government to be returned to their homes. The reasons cited by the displaced people included family reunion and relatively improved security situation in most parts of Upper Nile, including Baliet County. Due to the lack of resources to relocate the IDPs, the government requested UNHCR to facilitate the exercise. UNHCR conducted surveys and verification exercises to ascertain people’s intentions.
Humanitarian organizations provided trucks for the movement of the displaced people and a three month food ration, essential household items and emergency shelter, and sanitation and hygiene materials. In addition, access to health, education, safe water and livelihood opportunities, including fishing and agriculture, were scaled up to ensure the returnees could easily reintegrate with their host communities.
Other response activities prior to the movement included setting up transit sites and sensitizing the host community on peaceful co-existence. The road through which the convoy travelled and the return areas were assessed by a mine action team, which also provided mine education to the returnees on arrival.
The government ensured the safety and security of the displaced people during the return process. In Baliet, local authorities assisted in managing the reception sites and provided warehouse facilities free of charge for temporary storage of humanitarian supplies. The authorities issued a letter of assurance prior to the exercise and ensured that there were no checkpoints along the road.
The host communities and community leaders played an important role in receiving the returnees. They ensured that everyone, including persons with special needs, received due attention and were assisted in a proper manner.
IPC acute food insecurity (May-July)
Almost 7 million people facing critical lack of food The number of people likely to face acute food insecurity in South Sudan by the end of July has risen to the highest level yet, with an estimated 6.96 million people – 61 per cent of the South Sudanese population – affected, UN agencies have warned.
According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), by the end of July, 21,000 people will face a catastrophic lack of food access.
Another 1.82 million people will be a step away from catastrophic food insecurity. Further, over 5 million people will face Crisis levels of food insecurity.
About 81,000 more people than originally estimated in a January forecast for May to July are facing Crisis levels of food insecurity or worse, particularly in Jonglei, Lakes, Unity and Northern Bahr el Ghazal.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.