World Vision extends aid operations into remote areas of South Sudan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 2 December 2014 – World Vision today announced that its emergency relief operations in the north of South Sudan have expanded to reach many of those displaced by the conflict, but who have not yet received aid.

“One in 17 people, who have fled violence, live in the protection of civilian sites; the majority of those displaced by conflict are living in other towns or villages,” says Perry Mansfield, National Director, World Vision South Sudan. “These are the people that World Vision is reaching through its extended aid operations” he said.

Funded by the Common Humanitarian Fund, World Vision has created mobile teams that deploy quickly to remote places to distribute aid and then leave soon after. The program aims to reach over 100,000 people by the end of January 2015. Since the response began in January 2014, World Vision has reached almost half a million people in Upper Nile, Jonglei and Unity States.

“Along with the logistical challenges – poor roads and expensive air travel – a volatile security situation makes South Sudan a tough place in which to deliver aid,” said Fred McCray, Operations Director, World Vision South Sudan. “We manage to reach the most remote places with the help of over 700 national staff. These people know how to get to the smallest villages and are used to the tough conditions. Although our funding comes from other places, the aid is delivered by South Sudanese,” said McCray.

One of the new aid recipients, who formerly lived in Bentiu, Unity State, said that they feared ongoing hostility in and around the town and so fled to a safer place to look for food. Like many others, this person fled on foot and left almost all their belongings behind. After having their homes looted, most people need a way to support themselves. For this reason, the distribution of household items is a key activity for World Vision in these areas.

The mobile teams have been able to reach thousands of people outside the operational areas of many aid organisations. In Koch, Unity State, World Vision has provided over 1400 households with kits containing mosquito nets, plastic sheets, clothing fabric, sleeping mats and blankets, 958 households with fishing kits containing hooks and nylon twine and 290 households with agricultural kits containing vegetable seed and agricultural tools. In addition, over 800 children under 5 years have been screened for malnutrition (59 or 7% were diagnosed) and 470 pregnant and lactating women screened for malnutrition (124 or 26% were diagnosed). Those diagnosed with malnutrition have been treated either as outpatients or included in supplementary feeding programs in collaboration with the County Health Department (CHD). However, due to the scale of the problem, World Vision has been requested by the CHD to assume operation of health clinics in Koch and the organization has recruited local staff to do this.

World Vision estimates that at least 2,000 households in Ulang county, Upper Nile State are in need of more aid and plans to reach them through further distributions over the next two weeks. To help reduce the reliance on food aid, World Vision has also trained 54 community animal health workers in the Upper Nile, and, over the coming weeks, these people will expand World Vision’s programs in Fashoda, Melut and Renk counties by vaccinating 100,000 livestock.

“As long as the resources are there, we will continue to expand our programs and try to reach the most remote regions of South Sudan with aid,” said Perry Mansfield.

For more information, images or an interview with Perry Mansfield, please contact Melany Markham on +211922027365 or melany_markham@wvi.org