• Nutrition and food security remain critical challenges across South Sudan. About 4.8 million people or around 45 per cent of the total population are severely food insecure with 25,000 in humanitarian catastrophe. This is 1.4 million more than at the same time last year. The post-harvest gains expected during this time have provided little relief.
• A measles outbreak has been confirmed in Panyijiar county in Unity state, one of the areas in pre- famine-conditions in February – May 2017. 78 per cent of the cases reported are under five. None of the affected children had been vaccinated for measles. UNICEF and partners supported the response.
• Multi-sector emergency response plans for both Baggari and Jonglei to scale-up interventions are in place. A joint response by humanitarian organisations was conducted in Greater Baggari from 19 to 23 Nov. UNICEF and partners are in preparation to re/establish static or semi-static partnerships in locations where possible in greater Baggari region to provide uninterrupted services.
• Preparations are now underway to start implementation of the dry-season plan with a humanitarian convoy scheduled to leave Juba along the Western Corridor in end November/early December.
• The first Integrated Rapid Response Mission to the Greater Equatoria took place in Gunyoro and Iholong areas of Torit. This was a joint mission by WFP/UNICEF to deliver intersectoral support to people who had not been reached since July 2016.
SITUATION IN NUMBERS
1.86 million Internally displaced persons (IDPs) since 15 December 2013 (OCHA South Sudan Humanitarian Bulletin, 17 November 2017)
2.1 million South Sudanese refugees in neighbouring countries since 15 December 2013 (OCHA South Sudan Humanitarian Bulletin, 17 November 2017)
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
Nutrition and food security remain critical challenges for populations across South Sudan, with some areas facing catastrophic conditions. The latest Integrated Food Security and Nutrition Phase Classification (IPC), which became publicly available in early November, indicates that 4.8 million people – about 45 per cent of the total population1 – are severely food insecure with 25,000 in humanitarian catastrophe in Baggari and Ayod/Nyirol counties respectively in Western Bahr al Ghazal and Jonglei states. This represents 1.4 million more people than at the same time last year.
The post-harvest gains expected during this time have provided little relief, as fighting and insecurity continue to prevail. Malnutrition has also worsened compared to the same period last year, with more than 1.1 million children under five likely to be malnourished in 2018, including nearly 300,000 suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM).
Lack of sustained access continues to undermine continuous and comprehensive humanitarian assistance. Although UNICEF targets the prevention and treatment of severe malnutrition in most of the country, insecurity poses significant challenges for partners in accessing many locations, especially in Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile states. Sporadic fighting in these states has also affected implementation of WASH activities by partners in these locations. Furthermore, tensions with local authorities have made it difficult to conduct some activities in Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites. A notable example of lack of sustained access is in Bentiu PoC site, solid waste collection, transportation, and disposal from the PoC site were disrupted on three occasions during the reporting period with the local authorities and landowners demanding compensation for the land at the current landfill site. This led to garbage and liquid waste going uncollected for nearly two days from the PoC site. Discussions are ongoing at local and national levels, with engagement from local authorities, for a sustainable way of resolving the issues.
A measles outbreak has also been confirmed in Panyijiar county, in Unity State, with 78 per cent of the cases reported to be children under five. None of the affected children had been vaccinated for measles. UNICEF has conducted response activities which are set out in further detail below. In total, there have been 21,530 cases and 461 deaths during this outbreak, with 17,361 cases and 392 deaths reported in 2017. As the decline is still a recent development, UNICEF and partners continue with a multi-sectoral response, set out in further detail below.
In 2017, in line with UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC) and the inter-agency Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), UNICEF continues to give priority to the current integrated scale-up strategies in Northern Bahr el Ghazal, southern Unity, Jonglei and Greater Equatoria, while maintaining preparedness to respond to any emergency across the country. UNICEF continues to build upon existing community networks and other community-based resources to assess, plan and implement the response, in order to strengthen local capacities and ensure accountability to affected populations.
UNICEF’s focus is on enabling the delivery of quality services and on monitoring the impact of programmes. UNICEF is also prioritizing efforts to institutionalize the IASC Guidelines on Integrating GBV Interventions in Humanitarian Action.
As a result of limited accessibility due to insecurity and limited infrastructure, UNICEF, in collaboration with WFP, is maintaining the scale-up of the deployment of Integrated Rapid Response Mechanism (IRRM) missions, and aims to conduct five missions monthly as the situation permits. Following months of constant advocacy efforts, for the first time, UNICEF and partners with support from WFP, had deployed two parallel RRM missions in Gunyoro and Iholong which were the only two inaccessible locations in Eastern Equatoria. The missions supported about 11,500 people from Gunyoro and Iholong between 17 and 20 November amid a challenging environment. In 2017, 44 IRRM missions have reached 677,266 people reached including 127,916 under 5 children.