Sudan

UNICEF Operation Lifeline Sudan: Southern Sector Annual Report (2002)

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The year in review
The year 2002 began on a positive note, with the signing of the ceasefire agreement for the Nuba Mountains, a direct result of the initiatives of Senator Danforth. However, while the people of Nuba enjoyed a respite from conflict, fighting intensified elsewhere in OLS Southern Sector's area of operations. Upper Nile suffered some of the most intense fighting, but other areas, including northern Bahr el Ghazal, and Eastern Equatoria, also experienced considerable conflict. Added to that were attacks from the Lord's Resistance Army in the area south of Juba into northern Uganda. Widespread and intense military activity resulted in considerable displacement, and served to increase the vulnerability of populations OLS seeks to assist. Over 100,000 people were displaced as a result of fighting around Gogrial, similar number displaced from Western Upper Nile, and over 30,000 displaced in Eastern Equatoria.

The operating environment for OLS, always highly volatile, grew increasingly dangerous for humanitarian workers, as evidenced by the number of occasions OLS staff were relocated from insecure to safer locations. During the year, 106 such relocations took place, twice as many as the previous year. Tragically, during an attack by militia on Waat, Upper Nile, a staff member of the OLS agency, World Vision, lost his life and three of his colleagues were taken hostage.

For much of the year, the humanitarian imperative took second place to the military imperative as OLS was subject to increasing access restrictions in the form of denials of humanitarian flights. Access to Western Upper Nile was gradually restricted, and experienced a blanket flight denial in April, leaving 65,000 people completely beyond OLS assistance. From 27 September to 6th October, the Government denied OLS the use of Sudanese airspace over Eastern and Western Equatoria. As all flights from the UN base camp in Lokichoggio, Northern Kenya, have to pass through the denied airspace, this restriction constituted the effective closure of OLS flight operations for a ten-day period and affected key humanitarian programmes.

Late in the year access restrictions on OLS eased, as peace talks between the Government of Sudan and the SPLM progressed. After five weeks of talks under the auspices of IGAD, the parties signed the Machakos Protocol on 20th July, which provided the basis for further negotiations towards a comprehensive peace agreement. Talks progressed, albeit with some setbacks, and, on 15th October, the parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cessation of hostilities, which included a reaffirmed commitment to "allow unimpeded humanitarian access to all areas of Sudan and for people in need, in accordance with the Operation Lifeline Sudan Agreement". The UN subsequently met with the two parties to work out the modalities for the implementation of the unimpeded access agreement. From 1st November, OLS moved into a era of negotiated access, whereby OLS informs both parties of the locations it plans to assist each month. Unlike the previous system, neither party can deny OLS access to these locations, a significant improvement over the previous system.

Education

Ensuring that every child receives five years of primary education is an immense challenge in southern Sudan. Universal primary education means: an additional 770,000 children to be enrolled in primary schools, of whom over 400,000 are girls; elimination o f gender gaps necessitates immediate enrolment of 100,000 girls: an additional 3,600 teachers to be trained, and 3,900 teachers retrained: construction or rehabilitation of 2,500 classrooms; establishment of over 700 water points near schools.

The overall policy environment for enhancing primary education in southern Sudan has improved over the last year or two. On the one hand, more funds are available for the education sector. Donors are more willing to fund the education sector, where previously they had focused resources on interventions to save lives and protect livelihoods. There is now a growing realization that investment in the education sector is equally important. Secondly, the Secretariat of Education, the SPLM institution responsible, has developed its education policy and guidelines for implementation of education programmes. Also, the School Baseline Assessment conducted by UNICEF has provided essential information on which programmes can be based.

During 2002, 14 OLS NGOs worked in the education sector in southern Sudan. An additional 23 worked in the education sector outside OLS, but the majority of these were Sudanese, indigenous NGOs with a generally small, localized capacity, running schools in a few villages who receive support and supplies from OLS agencies.

The geographical gaps have been identified in Upper Nile/Jonglei region with only two OLS partners who were actively involved in education activities in 2002. While Bahr el Ghazal is well covered, there are still pockets with no or few NGOs involved in education, such as Yirol, Tonj and Wau counties.

1. An estimated 20,000 new pupils enrolled in school.

2. An estimated 8,000 girls enrolled in school.

3. 700 teachers trained.

4. 800 teachers re-trained.

5. 1,008 schools received basic school supplies: UNICEF supplied 750 schools; NGOs supplied 320 schools.

6. An estimated 60,000 textbooks, all printed inside southern Sudan distributed to 300 schools.

7. 784 new classrooms constructed; 25 water points close to schools established, 100 school latrines built.

This information is based on the partially received information from NGOs.

Geographical coverage of OLS agencies working in the Education sector in southern Sudan:

Region
No. of schools
Total no. of INGOs
SINGOs
NGOs
Northern Bahr el Ghazal
246
7
ADRA, Amurt, IAS, NCA, SCF-UK, UNICEF, WR
Lakes
195
4
AET, CRS, SC-Sweden, UNICEF
Western Equatoria
332
7
1
ADRA, AET, CARE, CRS, IAS, MRDA, UNICEF
Eastern Equatoria
331
6
1
ACORD, CRS, DOT, IAS, NCA, UNICEF, ZOA
Jonglei
60
2
SC-Sweden, UNICEF
Upper Nile
322
4
ADRA, CMA, SCF-UK, UNICEF
Total
1486
14
1

Operation Lifeline Sudan
P. O. Box 44145
Nairobi
Kenya

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