World Vision is responding to the needs of thousands of people who have been displaced by yet another wave of violence and have fled to a Protection of Civilians camp (PoC) in Malakal, South Sudan.
More than 4,500 have fled into the PoC since they first started arriving on the 2 April with over 600 people arriving per day. World Vision, along with other agencies, has distributed essential household items (mosquito nets, soap, jerry cans, blankets, sleeping mats and cooking utensils) to 4,358 people. The most urgent needs remain shelter, water and sanitation facilities, food and protection and, in cooperation with other aid agencies, World Vision is planning a food distribution for the latest wave of arrivals into the PoC over the next few weeks.
Perry Mansfield, National Director, World Vision South Sudan said, “Most of the new arrivals are women, children and elderly – the most vulnerable. Although we are managing to meet the needs of the people here, we have heard reports that hundreds, if not thousands, have fled into the countryside.”
“A major concern is the safety of the children here,” said Mansfield. “During the conflict in 2013, we heard reports that children were recruited from Malakal so we need to do all we can to make sure that they are safe. Since December last year, World Vision has been calling on donors to fully fund child protection and education. Safety is just as important as physical needs, especially for children.”
To try and protect children from recruitment by armed groups, World Vision is establishing child friendly spaces for those who have just arrived in the PoC and protection activities will commence within the week.
Since the start of the current conflict in South Sudan in December 2013, 1.5 million people have been displaced by violence and World Vision has reached over 600,000 of these people with emergency aid.
“We have been reaching people with aid since the conflict began in 2013 and we will continue doing our best to help everyone here in need, but children should be the priority - not only for our organisation, but for everyone,” said Mansfield.