IOM, in partnership with key stakeholders and communities, will continue to support vulnerable people across South Sudan with essential life-saving assistance, whilst creating conducive environments for recovery and sustainable solutions to displacement. IOM will adopt a community-driven approach to all programming, to facilitate transformative changes that address vulnerability and risks. Tackling these challenges means not only making a positive and lasting impact on the lives of South Sudanese affected by crises, but also supporting the government in fulfilling the promises of the Revitalized Peace Agreement, creating a base of support for its continued efforts to address potential drivers for future crises.
Protracted conflict in South Sudan has contributed to an extended humanitarian crisis, which has been exacerbated by unusually high levels of flooding and the COVID-19 pandemic. Although conflict has reduced between parties to the Revitalized-Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS), violence has continued in many pockets of the country, threatening to reverse gains made at the national level since the peace deal was signed in September 2018. Conflict with non-signatory groups in the Equatoria Region has continued, with sub-national and localized violence in Lakes, Warrap, Unity and Jonglei States persisting. According to IOM's Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), around 1.6 million people remain internally displaced as of December 2020, and social cohesion, fragile even before the conflict, has been undermined by the cumulative impacts of sustained insecurity and economic instability, hampering prospects for peaceful co-existence between host, displaced, and returning populations. In addition, 7.5 million people are still considered to be in dire need of humanitarian assistance and protection (OCHA 2020). According to the latest IPC Analysis (December 2020), over half of the population (52.6%) faced ‘Crisis’ or worse levels of acute food insecurity, with heavy flooding and the economic impacts of COVID-19 exacerbating the situation for many. Sexual violence remains high, with a recent IOM study commissioned highlighting 45.8 per cent of all households reportedly having experienced an incident of gender-based violence (GBV) directed against females in the last year. As a country neighbouring the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), South Sudan remains at high risk of Ebola virus disease (EVD) due to cross-border movements of people and goods, and the long-term humanitarian crisis and security situation.