• Peace celebrations commemorating the Revitalized Agreement on Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) took place on 31 October in Juba. Participants included Presidents of Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia, Somalia and the Prime Minister of Egypt, as well as representatives of the African Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the United Nations.
• Coverage of health services significantly increased, partly due to additional support from the World Bank towards essential primary health care in Jonglei and Upper Nile states. In October, there was an estimated 46 per cent increase in total number of children under the age of 5 years provided with primary health services.
• UNICEF and implementing partners celebrated Global Handwashing Day on 15 October reaching over 112,129 people nationally with key hygiene promotion messages focusing on “Clean hands - a recipe for good health.”
Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs
Peace celebrations commemorating the R-ARCSS took place on 31 October in Juba. Speeches were given by the Prime Minister of Egypt, Mostafa Kamal Madbouly; President of Ethiopia, Sahle Work Zewde; President of Somalia, Mohammed Abdulla Mohammed; President of Sudan, Omar Hassan Ahmed El-Bashir; and the President of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Other speeches were made by Dr. Mahboub Maalim, IGAD Representative; Ambassador Joram Mukama Biswaro, AU Representative; and David Shearer, United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Special Representative of the Secretary-General. Opposition representatives also took part in the celebrations and speeches were given by Kornellio Kon Ngu, Other Political Parties (OPP) Representative; Deng Alor Kuol,Former Detainees (FD); Gabriel Changson Chang, South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA); and, most notably, Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon, Representative of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-in Opposition (SPLM/A-iO).
The World Health Organization (WHO) now considers South Sudan, along with Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, to be at ‘very high’ risk of cross-border spread of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) largely due to both formal and informal crossborder population movement in seven high-risk states. Priority locations include Juba International Airport, Nabiapai in Yambio, Lasu, Bazi and Kaya in Yei River state and Nimule, Magui and Ikotos in Torit state. UNICEF, through the Ministry of Health and implementing partners, is leading on risk communication, social mobilization and community engagement. A national EVD operational plan focusing on preparedness was updated, under the oversight of a national multi-sectoral EVD Task Force and with the support of respective technical working groups. UNICEF continues to participate and provide technical support with a focus on risk communication and social mobilization and infection prevention and control.
October witnessed a relative decline in insecurity, providing an enabling environment for service delivery, as well as agricultural activity. The levels of acute malnutrition are expected to improve marginally between October and December 2018 due to the seasonal availability of local production, increased availability of fish and milk, and improved access to markets and key services. A total of 23 counties in the former states of Warrap, Unity, Upper Nile, and Jonglei are projected to experience ‘Critical’ levels of acute malnutrition (Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rates of 15.0 to 29.9 per cent), while 27 counties in Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile are projected to face ‘Serious’ levels of acute malnutrition (GAM 10.0-14.9 per cent). All counties in Lakes and the majority in Central and Western Equatoria are projected to be within ’Alert’ (GAM 5.0-9.9 per cent) and ‘Acceptable’ (GAM <5.0 per cent) ranges.
UNICEF and partners reported 10 access incidents during the month of October. Most of these incidents relate to violence and/or intimidation of humanitarian personnel and operational interference against implementing partners. Key priority areas include Greater Baggari; Western Bahr el Ghazal, where ongoing hostilities are causing new displacements and preventing access to an estimated 28,000 people; Yei area; Central Equatoria, where clashes between non-state actors, as well as South Sudan’s People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) and SPLA-iO forces, has resulted in the killing and displacement of civilian populations, and complicated efforts to respond to urgent needs and for EVD preparedness activities, and; Upper Jonglei and lower Upper Nile states, were non-state civil authorities continue to interfere in the operations of partners. UNICEF continues to work with key humanitarian partners and bilaterally to negotiate principled access to Baggari and Yei and will participate in several high-level meetings between Humanitarian Country Team members and key interlocutors to address the ongoing issue of operational interference.