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Humanitarian Update Southern Sudan Issue 3, May and June 2010



- The number of people reported to have been uprooted from their homes due to insecurity reached over 152,000 at the end of June.

- Rapid assessments and surveys confirmed that several areas in the south have malnutrition levels well above the WHO emergency thresholds.


Food shortages and insecurity in Southern Sudan continue to have serious humanitarian consequences. The World Food Programme (WFP) estimates the number of severely food insecure people at 1.5 million and the number of moderately food insecure at 1.8 million with the most food insecure populations located in Jonglei, Warrap, Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Eastern Equatoria states. The lean season is reaching its peak, but July/August and September harvests are expected to mitigate food insecurity. However, high levels of violence threaten to further exacerbate the existing food gap. Incidents of tribal fighting or other forms of insecurity with a humanitarian impact have been reported across the south, with clashes concentrated in Jonglei and along the borders between Warrap, Unity and Lakes states. So far this year, local authorities and assessment teams have  reported that approximately 700 people have been killed in the violence and more than 152,000 people have reportedly been uprooted from their homes because of insecurity.

Humanitarian access in Khorfulus County, northern Jonglei, remains severely restricted as a result of a military stand-off that has continued without resolution since 30 April. The situation is believed to threaten the well-being of more than 18,000 civilian residents in the county. Humanitarian situation in towns or small villages within the cordoned area has not yet been verified, due to lack of humanitarian access. A humanitarian mission took place on 7 June in Khorfulus town and Canal town and an assessment was carried out concurrently with distribution of food, fishing equipment and public health care unit kits. An humanitarian assessment has not been conducted for the remainder of the population in the county in the last two months. Protection and food insecurity concerns have been raised.

At the end of June, reports indicated that a number of people had moved from Wanding, Upper Nile, to Dengjok payams of Akobo County in Jonglei. A rapid assessment on 26 June confirmed arrival of 4,660 individuals settling in Denjok, Gakdong and Kier in Akobo County. The people reportedly moved due to fear of attacks. There have been tensions between two tribes in the area for a long time over administrative and traditional boundaries, but it was unclear if a specific incident triggered the latest events. Shelter, food, and health supplies were identified as immediate needs.

Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels were reported to have continued attacks in Western Equatoria during May and June. Mid-May, local authorities reported that rebel attacks displaced several thousand people in Tambura County. According to reports from the ground, LRA attacks have caused displacement of more than 24,000 people in Western Equatoria over the last six months. Allegedly, over 20 abductions were carried out over the last two months and about 40 in all this year. These latest events have hampered economic activity and food production in Western Equatoria.

In most parts of the south, the rainy season is well underway. Following heavy rains on 29 June, 1,864 people were affected by floods in Kormalang in Jur River County, Western Bahr el Ghazal. An assessment by UN and the Southern Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (SSRRC) confirmed localized flooding resulted from damming of a stream by a newly constructed railway. The railway embankment blocked the stream, flooding nearby homes. Food rations for two months and emergency shelter materials for 60 households whose houses (tukuls) were washed away would be distributed. A construction company was contracted soon after the incident to install drainage tunnels under the railway.

In May, the Sudan Meteorological Authority (SMA) projected near-normal to below-normal rainfall for the southern parts of the south and near-normal to above-normal rainfall in the northern part during the period June to September 2010. The timely onset of rains combined with a favourable forecast increases optimism of a favourable cropping year. In mid- May, the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) issued a flood risk alert for June indicating possible heavy rains and specified Western, Central, and Eastern Equatoria, and Jonglei as areas at risk.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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