Insecurity has continued to drive large-scale displacement throughout 2021. This has prevented internally displaced persons (IDPs) from accessing their land throughout the cultivation cycle, and has resulted in populations converging upon Payam and Boma headquarters. Most IDPs have been unable to harvest, while host community members have only cultivated small plots surrounding the homestead, with insecurity limiting access to extended plots which typically provide the majority of the households’ food stocks.
Displacement to populated areas has placed substantial pressure on host community food stocks, which are expected to be exhausted as early as November 2021.
Access to cattle is also atypically low and unlikely to improve until the next rainy season (May – November). It is reportedly too dangerous to keep cattle close to the homestead, due to the risk of cattle raiding, as such, most cattle have migrated to areas far from the settlement, limiting the ability of vulnerable groups to access milk, meat, blood and income.
Widespread livelihood collapse has been compounded by a reported inability to depend on traditional coping strategies and income generating activities. Focus group discussion (FGD) participants frequently reported that women were being attacked while collecting wild foods, and that wild food sources were being systematically attacked.
Poorer groups have reportedly been unable to access income by cropping and rearing livestock for better off households and FGD participants reported that there has been a decrease in the functionality of community level coping mechanisms in Tonj North, particularly chiefs’ courts, which distribute resources among the community in times of acute hunger.
Attacks in Marial Lou in July resulted in delays in the delivery of food assistance, and persistent insecurity has meant that July and August distributions were moved to Akop, an estimated eight hour walk from Marial Lou. This is likely to also be the case for the September distribution.
FGD participants displaced form Marial Lou reported that roughly a quarter of households, particularly vulnerable groups, such as older persons, children, people with disabilities, and female headed households, had been unable to make longer displacement journeys. Inability to move has resulted in highly food insecure households being reportedly unable to access humanitarian food assistance (HFA) and other humanitarian services, while other households reportedly missed the distributions due to the high risk of movement.
In the near-term, access to humanitarian services is likely to decrease. Throughout 2021, the caseload, ration size and duration of HFA in Tonj North increased substantially, however, according to humanitarian service providers, no further food assistance is currently planned post September. Continued provision of HFA will play a crucial role in reducing atypically severe food consumption gaps throughout the ‘harvest’ period, which usually runs from June until November.
Service providers reported that mass displacement from Marial Lou has placed substantial pressure on health and nutrition facilities in the areas of displacement, particularly Akop and Rulabet, which has resulted in supplies being exhausted. Supply challenges have been further compounded by a seasonal deterioration in road conditions that has limited the ability of providers to restock.
Temporary health and nutrition facilities, both with funding for ten weeks, began to operate on the 1st August. Without continued funding, service providers reported that these facilities will cease operations in mid-October