• In July 2019, UNICEF in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (national and state levels), WHO and other partners continued to create awareness, engage and sensitize communities on Ebola in high-risk states reaching 208,669 people (101,938 men; 106,731 women).
• On 23 July, 32 children were released from pro-Machar SPLA-iO in Mirmir, Unity State. All children were reunited with their families and are receiving reintegration services including comprehensive case management.
• 26 July marked National Girls’ Education Day. In Juba, the event was hosted by the Jubek State Ministry of Education along with education partners. Approximately 1,085 girls from 15 schools took part in a rally which included dance, drama, songs and poetry performances.
Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs
Since January 2019, following the signing of the September 2018 peace agreement, the number of incidents limiting or preventing UNICEF and partners’ access due to armed conflict have declined, leading to improved access to vulnerable women and children. UNICEF programmes are largely able to be implemented in past hot spots such as Mayendit in Unity state, Greater Baggari in Western Bahr el Ghazal and Maban in Upper Nile. However, despite this overall trend, access restrictions due to armed hostilities persisted in parts of southern Central Equatoria and Western Equatoria state, the result of fighting between government security forces and the National Salvation Front (NAS – a non-signatory to the peace agreement). UNICEF and partners have been able to expand Ebola preparedness efforts in these affected areas, however, ongoing clashes – such as those that took place in Lobonok and Nimule this month – have made these efforts increasingly challenging.
While hostilities have decreased, humanitarians still face a range of additional challenges. Criminality remains a persistent impediment due to road-side attacks, the looting of warehouses and facilities, and attempts to collect bribes at checkpoints on main supply routes. UNICEF and partners were subject to several attempts by state security forces to extort ‘fees’ or ‘confiscate’ items from UNICEF partners and transport contractors. There were also several minor looting incidents of nutrition supplies from UNICEF supported facilities. UN agencies are now required to use force protection from the mission along the Juba-Laniya and Torit-Nimule roads following a series of roadside attacks on these routes. Inter-communal violence – including cattle raiding – similarly constrains access to affected civilian populations. In Jur River (Western Bahr el Ghazal), the ability to address the needs of newly displaced populations has been greatly complicated by fighting between different communities Jur River and Tonj South. Similarly, in Mayendit (Unity), programmes were temporarily suspended following cattle raids from Warrap state.
The July IPC assessment indicates that an estimated 6.96 million people (61 per cent of the population) are likely to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity or worse, out of which an estimated 1.82 million people will face Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity and 21,000 will likely be in Catastrophe (IPC phase 5) and at risk of famine. In 2019, approximately 860,000 children under five are estimated to be acutely malnourished including 259,000 severe acute malnutrition (SAM), out of which 220,700 (85 per cent) are targeted for treatment. The Global Acute Malnutrition prevalence stands at 11.6 per cent and stunting at 17.9 per cent. To reach 2019 targets and be ready to respond for first semester 2020, UNICEF requires US$ 40 million between September and December 2019 for procurement of Ready-To-Use Therapeutic food (RUTF) and frontline cost of the programme. There is risk for RUTF pipeline break during the last quarter of 2019 or early 2020 if UNICEF fails to mobilize adequate resources before September 2019.