IOM Expands Aid Operations in South Sudan, Appeals for Donor Support

By International Office of Migration (IOM)
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IOM Expands Aid Operations in South Sudan, Appeals for Donor Support

GENEVA, Switzerland, January 7, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- IOM is expanding its assistance to people displaced by the ongoing conflict in South Sudan and has issued an appeal to the international community for further support.

IOM Director General William Lacy Swing arrived in Juba on Sunday to show his concern and support for the crisis-affected population, and to meet with IOM staff and humanitarian partners.

Conflict broke out in South Sudan on 15 December, and the crisis has since forced nearly 200,000 people to flee their homes. An estimated 62,000 people have sought shelter and protection on UN peacekeeping bases, and some 22,600 people have crossed into neighbouring countries. Shelter, non-food items (NFIs), food, healthcare, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services are urgently needed in areas where displaced populations have gathered.

IOM has been leading the registration of displaced persons on UN bases in Juba and distributing relief supplies in coordination with humanitarian partners. Adequate shelter and essential household items, including plastic sheets, blankets, sleeping mats and cooking kits, are vital to improve the living conditions of those displaced by the current crisis.

“The needs created by this crisis are staggering. I am deeply saddened by the violence that has affected so many South Sudanese, who are simply trying to survive,” said Director General Swing. “During my time in Juba, I also saw the enormous efforts being made by the humanitarian community to assist people who have been displaced. This work is vital, and we are calling upon our partners in the international community to provide additional funding support so that we can continue to meet the basic needs of South Sudan's most vulnerable people.”

Between 23 December and 2 January, approximately 17,400 people (6,500 households) were registered and received shelter and NFI assistance at the UN Tomping base in Juba. Registration at the Tomping base closed on January 2. However, new people continue to arrive, including many foreign nationals who were evacuated by the UN peacekeeping mission from areas where heavy fighting occurred. The site has exceeded its capacity and it is not possible to accept additional arrivals. Protection of civilians within the site remains a major concern, as fighting within and close to the camp is being reported.

At the UN Juba 3 base, registration began on 1 January and is ongoing. A total of 6,634 individuals (2,915 households) have been registered and provided with assistance as of 5 January. IOM is assisting with the voluntary transportation of persons who cannot be accommodated in Tomping to the Juba 3 base.

The humanitarian community recently regained access to Malakal in Upper Nile State, where heavy fighting displaced thousands of people in the past week. IOM is coordinating the WASH response on the UN Malakal base, which is hosting some 12,000 displaced persons.

Treated water is being transported and distributed at the site on a daily basis in partnership with the UN peacekeeping mission, and emergency latrines and hand washing stations are being established to improve sanitation and mitigate the spread of disease.

IOM is also supporting the provision of WASH services on the UN compounds in Juba through its Rapid Response Fund (RRF), a grant programme that engages local and international partners to address urgent needs throughout South Sudan.

On 6 January IOM issued an appeal to the international community to provide a total of USD 23.2 million in support of the organization's humanitarian response to the South Sudan crisis.

The appeal highlights emergency humanitarian assistance that IOM, as lead agency of the Shelter & Non Food Item (NFI), and Camp Coordination & Camp Management (CCCM) clusters and an active contributor to the WASH and Health clusters, proposes to deliver in South Sudan between January and March 2014.