UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner, George Okoth-Obbo (R) and Governor of Ruweng State, Mayol Kur Akuel (L) shake hands to mark the official opening of the camp. © UNHCR/Rocc Nuri

UNHCR opens a new refugee camp in northern Unity

The UN Refugee Agency officially opened a new camp at Pamir on September 01, 2016 in coordination with local authorities and South Sudan’s Commission for Refugee Affairs to provide better protection and services to Sudanese refugees relocating from Yida settlement and new arrivals from the war-torn Nuba Mountains.

The new camp, some 80 km south of the contested border with Sudan, is ready to accommodate up to 20,000 people at the moment. UNHCR and partners have so far demarcated 5,000 family plots, built a primary school and a health care centre. Drinking water is available through a sun-powered water pumping system and teachers are on site to start classes as soon as the school term resumes.

UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner George Okoth-Obbo, who was on a 3-day visit to South Sudan from Geneva, cut the ribbon together with the Governor of newly formed Ruweng State, Mayol Kur Akuei, Acting Commissioner for Refugee Affairs, John Dabi and UNHCR Director of Africa Bureau, Valentin Taspoba. Representatives from the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and World Food Program (WFP) attended the official inauguration.

“Our aim is to ensure that refugees access to quality services according to international standards, but our long-term strategy is to provide them with the tools and means that enable them to become more self-reliant and less dependent on humanitarian assistance,” says Okoth-Obbo. “This means boosting education, investing in agriculture and skill development opportunities.”

In addition to hosting the newly opened Pamir, northern Unity has two other refugee settlements: Yida, right next to the contested border with Sudan, with a population of 59,000 people and Ajuong Thok, home to more than 40,000 refugees. The latter camp received some 10,000 new arrivals from South Kordofan in first eight months of 2016 as well as more than 4,400 refugees who had previously registered in Yida.

“With Ajuong Thok at full capacity, we had no option but opening a new camp,” says Okoth-Obbo. “We cannot thank enough the authorities and communities of South Sudan for being so generous and hospitable to the refugees. Without their support, we never would have been able to extend protection and assistance to refugees in the first place.”

Governor Akuei said that refugees and local communities have been living together peacefully for the past five years, sharing land and resources. “We appreciate the great cooperation with UNHCR and we hope that this partnership will go a long way as to also benefit our communities, who are often in worst conditions than the refugees”, he said.


Youth at the innovation workshop

Youth innovation challenge for peace launched in South Sudan

The United Nations Development Programme’s new Youth Innovation Challenge for Peace launched official activities on Thursday with an introduction workshop designed to explain the competition process, rules, and innovation principles. More than 120 young people gathered to learn about the competition, which aims to spark out-of-the-box innovative ideas on engaging young South Sudanese in peace building and as agents of change.

“We want to see South Sudan through your eyes- the eyes of young people who have fresh points of view and the creativity to tackle the complex issues you and your peers face”, said UNDP Acting Country Director Jean-Luc Stalon in opening remarks to participants at the workshop.

The Youth Innovation Challenge is organized by UNDP’s Community Security and Arms Control Project to specifically recognize the strength of youth-led initiatives and the impact of home-grown ideas on societies emerging from conflict.

Full story: http://www.ss.undp.org/content/south_sudan/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/2016/08/25/youth-innovation-challenge-for-peace-launches-in-south-sudan.html

UN Humanitarian Chief condemns violence against civilians and aid workers in South Sudan

United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, concluded his three-day mission to South Sudan today, calling for all parties to uphold their responsibilities to protect civilians, amidst fresh fighting that has displaced tens of thousands of people in multiple locations across the country.

“The people of this country have suffered far too much, and for far too long,” said USG O’Brien. “I am outraged by the heinous acts of violence that have been committed against civilians, including by members of the armed forces, and call for swift and decisive action to halt these abuses and bring the perpetrators to account.”

The humanitarian situation in South Sudan is catastrophic. More than half of the population – some 6.1 million people – are in need of humanitarian assistance. An estimated 4.8 million people are severely food insecure across the country, with a quarter of a million children facing severe acute malnutrition. Forced displacement remains a defining feature of the crisis, with some 1.6 million people internally displaced, and more than 900,000 having fled to neighbouring countries, including more than 60,000 who fled to Uganda in July alone. Protection of civilians is a paramount concern, with extensive reports received of rape and other forms of sexual violence during recent fighting, including in Juba and Wau.

Full story:


Humanitarian Coordinator condemns grave consequences for civilians of fighting in Wau

Following a one-day visit to Wau, the Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan has expressed shock and outrage regarding the loss of life, displacement, and suffering that civilians have endured as a result of the fighting.

“In Wau, as in so many other locations across this country, it is civilians who have borne the brunt of conflict,” said Mr. Eugene Owusu, Humanitarian Coordinator. “This is entirely unacceptable. All armed actors must immediately uphold their obligations to protect civilians and ensure that the guns remain silent in Wau.”


Full story: http://reliefweb.int/report/south-sudan/south-sudan-humanitarian-coordinator-condemns-grave-consequences-civilians

May 26 South Sudan participants bring World Humanitarian Summit commitments home

South Sudan participants bring World Humanitarian Summit commitments home

Upon their return from the World Humanitarian Summit, which took place in Istanbul on 23-24 May, the Honorable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Hussein Mar Nyuot, the Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan, Eugene Owusu, and Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul, briefed the press in Juba on their participation at the summit and the commitments made there. Read More

A South Sudanese mother holds her baby in a health facility in South Sudan. © UNOPS

Italy, UNOPS donate vehicles to Doctors With Africa CUAMM

The Italian Development Cooperation (IDC) in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) announced a donation of two vehicles to Doctors with Africa CUAMM, an international NGO that is supporting health systems strengthening in South Sudan to improve the delivery of basic and emergency healthcare services.

Dr. Dario Mariani, an IDC representative, attended the handover event in the presence of UNOPS Head of Programme, Richard Martin Schroeder, and CUAMM Deputy Country Manager, Paolo Ferrari.

Maternal mortality rate in South Sudan is high at 2, 243 per 100,000 live births. A child born in South Sudan has a 25 percent chance of dying before age five. Pregnant women often experience considerable time delays when trying to reach a health facility. They travel long distances by foot in search of health services, as many villages do not have roads and families do not have access to vehicles or public transportation. Many die from treatable complications. Read More

South Sudan commences World Blood Donor Day (WBDD) 2016 celebrations

Under the theme “Blood Connects Us All”, South Sudan has joined the rest of the world to celebrate this year’s World Blood Donor Day to acknowledge the crucial role that voluntary blood donors play in saving millions of lives worldwide.

Share life Give Blood is the message behind the massive voluntary blood donation campaign carried out by the NBTS and partners to celebrate WBDD.

The event was kicked off on 13th June with TV and Radio talk shows in Juba. Challenges in the context of the country and achievements so far related to blood safety, voluntary blood donation and its impact were discussed in different fora. Read More

Sudanese refugees register to receive seeds from FAO and UNHCR in June 2016 in South Sudan’s Doro camp, home to some 51,000 refugees from Blue Nile State. © Albert Gonzalez Farran / FAO / UNHCR.

UNHCR and FAO help vulnerable communities strengthen their food security

The UN Refugee Agency and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations completed distribution of seeds and agricultural tools to 200,000 refugees and their host communities across South Sudan to help them become more self-sufficient.

Assessments have shown that the food and nutrition security situation is worrying in many parts of the country, including in Upper Nile – a region hosting four refugee camps and South Sudan’s largest refugee population of 134,000 Sudanese refugees. A nutrition survey, conducted in late 2015, found that Upper Nile’s Maban refugee camps registered higher levels of malnutrition compared to 2014. This was particularly the case in Doro camp, where the rates of Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) and Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) were respectively 15.5 percent and 2.6 percent – above UNHCR standards of 10 percent and 2 percent. Read More

IOM conducts measles vaccination in Aweil West. © IOM

IOM, partners conduct vaccination campaigns to combat Measles in South Sudan

In response to an increase of measles cases, IOM South Sudan is teaming up with health agencies to vaccinate vulnerable people against the disease. IOM recently led vaccination campaigns for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Bentiu and Malakal and additional campaigns are in progress.

Following several suspected cases of measles in the UN Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites in Bentiu and Malakal, IOM launched a vaccination campaign for children under five living in both sites. The campaigns vaccinated nearly 45,900 children in Bentiu and 7,300 children in Malakal, reaching over 90 percent of the target group. Read More

UNFPA’s GBV Specialist, Erica Talentino facilitating during one of the sessions at the training. © UNFPA

National UNV midwives trained on gender equality and GBV in South Sudan

In 2015, UNFPA in collaboration with the national Ministry of Health and with funding from the Government of Canada deployed 15 national UN Volunteer Midwives across the country to work alongside the 30 international midwives initially posted to provide midwifery and reproductive health services. These national midwives are among the graduate midwives from the initial 4 Health Sciences Institutes in South Sudan likewise supported by UNFPA with funding from Canada.

The volunteer midwives provide a wide range of direct services including conduct of safe deliveries and basic emergency obstetric and new born care (EmONC) as well as provide health education, counselling and support to women and families.   Read More