The children's charity, Save the Children and partners have scaled up coordinated humanitarian response in South Sudan as floods, conflicts, and persistent economic challenges continue to impact children and the most vulnerable people.
A press statement from the charity says early seasonal rains have caused rivers to overflow resulting in flooding in large areas and settlements across Jonglei and Unity states which are the hardest hit - representing some 58 percent of the affected people - followed by Upper Nile, Western, and Northern Bahr el Ghazal states.
"Some 100,000 people displaced by the 2020 floods still have not returned home and are sheltering in the Bor, Mangalla, and Mingkaman IDP camps. This has left 8.3 million people, including refugees in need of humanitarian assistance across the country, according to UN OCHA. The weakened health system compounded by multiple shocks, including COVID-19, has also impacted the health and wellbeing of millions - with more children already needing treatment for acute malnutrition in 2021. Furthermore, an estimated 2.8 million children (51% girls) are out of school in 2021, in addition to 98,500 school-aged refugee children, of which 18,000 children are out of school," the statement reads in part.
Save the Children's South Sudan Country Director Rama Hansraj said: “These children need immediate child protection services from multiple risks including recruitment by armed groups, psychosocial stress, family separation, violence, abuse and exploitation in 61 most affected counties.”
The organization said that a needs assessment exercise has revealed that the flood-affected people need food assistance, emergency shelter, and NFIs, WASH services and hygiene kits, health and nutrition supplies and services, protection services and dignity kits, and fishing kits for livelihood support as a matter of urgency.
“Save the Children aims to provide life-saving and life-sustaining support to 918,500 extremely vulnerable children and 751,500 adults by 31 December 2021,” Hansraj said.
It says that through a Multi-Year Resilience Programme, Save the Children is also implementing educational programs in schools and youth drop-in centers by working with local authorities, primary, secondary and Alternative Education Services (AES) centers to reach marginalized boys and girls to decrease dropout rates in the six states.
“We are providing incentives to volunteer teachers, training to volunteer trainers and government education officials, teaching and learning materials to increase enrolment and improved learning outcomes, replacement of teaching-learning supplies, refurbishment of the gender-segregated toilet and water supplies,” Rama Hansraj added.
“To enhance these efforts, the response overall total of $30 million is required -more than half of which is secured to date," Rama concluded. - Radio Tamazuj