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IOM Aids Conflict-Affected Civilians in South Sudan's Jonglei State

By International Office of Migration (IOM)
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GENEVA, Switzerland, September 20, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- IOM and partner agencies are continuing to register conflict-affected people and deliver relief supplies in South Sudan's restive Jonglei State.

The latest registration exercise, covering some 21,000 individuals in and around Gumuruk, Pibor County, was completed on 24 August and the findings were published this week.

On-going fighting in Jonglei State between government forces and non-state armed actors as well as inter-tribal violence has taken a substantial toll on Jonglei's civilian population.

IOM and partners were able to gain access to Pibor County, one of the worst-affected areas of Jonglei State, in early July, despite severe logistical and security constraints. Pibor is currently only accessible by helicopter, with humanitarian staff operating out of temporary camps.

Working in cooperation with local communities and partner agencies, IOM's Displacement Tracking and Monitoring (DTM) team is leading the profiling of affected populations to form a basis for future response.

The information gathered by IOM includes demographic data such as age, sex and place of origin, as well as household intactness. Partners can use this data to make informed decisions about the provision of future assistance, helping ensure that aid is quickly and effectively delivered to those who need it most.

Registration activities are being carried out in collaboration with protection partners to help identify vulnerable individuals, including separated and unaccompanied children. IOM is also working with partners to provide registered households with food rations through an integrated registration and distribution process.

IOM was able to quickly strengthen its operational capacity in Pibor County due in part to the organization's pre-existing Rapid Respond Fund (RRF) programme.

The RRF engages local and international partners to address urgent health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), nutrition, protection, non-food item/emergency shelter, coordination and information management needs in disaster- and conflicted-affected communities throughout South Sudan.

RRF partners provided essential pre-deployment information to the IOM teams arriving in Gumuruk, helping them to immediately set up operations, consult with relevant community representatives and begin the registration process. IOM is actively exploring further interventions in Jonglei State through the RRF mechanism.

As lead agency of the Emergency Shelter and Non-Food Item (NFI) Cluster, IOM is also coordinating the delivery of urgently-needed relief supplies in Jonglei, utilizing data collected during the registration exercises. IOM has prepositioned 15,000 NFI kits in Jonglei State through the Cluster, able to serve 90,000 individuals.

In Dorein and Labrab, Pibor County, where registration exercises were also recently conducted, families began receiving plastic sheets, blankets, and mosquito nets from IOM on 14 August. Registered households in Gumuruk will receive NFIs later in September, following the completion of food distributions.

In addition to activities within Jonglei, IOM has registered thousands of members of the Murle ethnic community who have been displaced by conflict from Jonglei to Juba, the country's capital. A total of 1,566 individuals were registered from 11-13 September, bringing the total number of Murle internally displaced persons (IDPs) registered in Juba to over 8,400.

IOM will continue to monitor the situation in Jonglei State closely and respond together with partners to meet the needs of vulnerable civilians. Funding for IOM's response activities in Jonglei is provided by the European Union, the UN Common Humanitarian Fund and the Government of the United States.

For detailed information on the findings of the registration exercises, please visit southsudan.iom.int/category/reports/jonglei/