• Close to three million South Sudanese have now fled their homes since December 2013.
• Thousands displaced by clashes in Unity.
• Food security experts warn of unprecedented levels of food insecurity in South Sudan in 2017.
• Communities along the River Nile are worst affected by the cholera outbreak and account for 91 per cent of reported cholera cases.
Displacement spikes following insecurity
Close to three million South Sudanese have now fled their homes and are either internally displaced or have sought refuge in neighbouring countries since December 2013. This includes an estimated 1.87 million people who are reported to have been internally displaced since December 2013. Of these, about 204,500 were sheltering in United Nations Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites as of 10 November, a more than 20 per cent increase compared to the number seeking shelter in the PoCs at the end of June (169,400).
Large spikes in internal displacement have been reported in the Greater Equatoria region, where fighting has driven tens of thousands of people from their homes since July. In Central Equatoria, the number of displaced people more than doubled from July (71,000) to October (143,000), following insecurity and sporadic fighting in multiple locations. The worst affected areas have been Juba and Yei counties. In Yei town, killings, rapes, abductions and restrictions on civilian freedom of movement by armed actors continue to be reported.
In addition to South Sudanese who have been internally displaced, more than 10,000 refugees - from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Central African Republic (CAR) and Sudan - who were living in Lasu camp in Yei County, were forced to flee in September following attacks at the camp. Most of the refugees are now thought to be sheltering in bushy areas near the border with DRC.
Internal displacement in Eastern Equatoria has risen more than threefold - from about 46,000 in August to about 158,000 in October – following insecurity and clashes in Budi,
Ikotos, Kapoeta South, Lafon, Magwi and Torit counties. In June 2016, there were only around 7,800 people internally displaced in Eastern Equatoria.
In Western Equatoria, the number of displaced people doubled from about 66,000 in August to more than 124,000 in October. Most recently, fighting in Li-rangu,Yambio County, on 10 and 19 November has triggered displacement of hundreds of people.
Some sought shelter in the compound of a non-governmental organization and a church in Yambio town, while others fled to the bushes. Fighting also erupted in Ezo on 8 November, forcing many people to flee their homes. According to the authorities in the county, hundreds of civilians fled to DRC and CAR, while others hid in bushes and at a Catholic church in Ezo town.
Hundreds of thousands of people have fled South Sudan to neighbouring countries, with more than 320,000 people leaving since 8 July, the majority of whom are women and children. This has brought the number of South Sudanese refugees arriving in neighbouring countries since December 2013 to over 1.1 million.
Scale-up of response in the Equatorias continues
Humanitarian organizations continue to scale-up their response to the needs of displaced people and affected host communities in the Equatorias, despite numerous challenges.
In Central Equatoria, distribution of food to more than 51,700 people in Yei town was completed on 9 November and partners are currently providing food to special cases that were not reached during the distribution. In addition, some 25,000 children and women of child bearing age have been vaccinated.
Malnourished children and pregnant and lactating mothers have received nutrition supplements and work is underway to establish a stabilization centre to treat Severe Acute Malnutrition cases.
However, access to areas outside of Yei town remains extremely limited and a high-level mission that planned to bring medical supplies to a village along the Yei-Maridi road was blocked from exiting Yei on 11 November.
In Western Equatoria, humanitarian organizations completed an assessment in areas hosting IDPs in Yambio on 12 November and an inter-agency team visited Mundri West,
East and Mvolo counties on 30 October to assess the humanitarian situation. There are estimated to be more than 109,100 people (35,985 in Mundri West, 39,146 in Mundri East, and 33,979 in Mvolo) affected by fighting and insecurity in the three counties, and many people have fled into the bushes in fear of further attacks. Movement to some areas has been restricted by armed actors, and flare-ups in fighting have affected the response. In Mundri East County, five international aid workers were relocated from Lui on 11 November due to insecurity caused by fighting between armed actors. Advocacy is on-going with parties to the conflict to ensure unhindered humanitarian access to people in need.