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Clashes drive thousands at makeshift IDP camps in South Sudan’s Western Equatoria State

World Vision appeals for USD2M funding to respond to the needs of over 80,000 people who lost their properties and livelihood, and were displaced by the violent clashes, many are living in hastily established IDP camps with no facilities. Outbreak of diseases are feared especially impacting children, women and elderly.

The recent clashes in South Sudan’s Tambura and Nagero counties, all part of Namutina Payam of Western Equatoria State displaced an estimated 80,000 people, with 30,000 of them stuck in their houses and in six internally-displaced persons (IDP) camps located in Tambura and Ezo.

Other IDPs moved to Yambio town and other nearby counties. World Vision has completed its assessment, along with humanitarian partners, that looked in to the needs of the displaced in Ezo, Yambio and Nzara.

The team found the camps overcrowded and need to establish basic facilities such as water points, toilets and recreational spaces for children. Open defecation is common and the risk of disease outbreak is high. Most of the people lost their livelihood and sources of income as they have to abandon their farms and leave their livestock behind.

The risk of malnutrition, hunger, sexual gender-based violence, and other issues related to protection is very high. Many of the health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene facilities were vandalized and the medical supplies looted.

Many of the health facilities and nutrition centers in Tambura have closed while those in Ezo are overwhelmed by the high number of people. Thus, medicines and medical supplies are running short. There is also no adequate staffing to respond to the rising humanitarian needs.

We appeal for support to help respond to the urgent – and rising – need of children and the most vulnerable in this emergency. In. the midst of the hunger crisis and COVID-19, the impact to the displaced could be another horrendous tragedy.

“The fighting stopped due to the dialogues being conducted on the ground. However, we received news of critically sick people at the camps. We are hoping our health team will arrive soon together with the ambulance to provide assistance”, says Simanga Ndebele, World Vision’s Zonal Programme Manager in Western Equatoria Zone.

Ndebele further adds, “Ezo County continues to be an epi-centre of the crisis with about 45,000 displaced people needing support. During a meeting with the UNOCHA team, I learned that the people prefer to seek refuge in Ezo rather than the capital town Yambio for easy access to the Democratic Republic of Congo as many still fear the situation can worsen.”

The inter-ethnic clashes that escalated starting last August 2021 has prompted World Vision, in coordination with the World Food Programme, to temporarily suspend the food distribution due to the security situation and ensure staff safety. All other programs were also suspended.

The areas affected by the clashes are still on lockdown and tension is still high. Tambura has an estimated population of over 55,000 people. Combined with Ezo and Nagero counties, the population is over 200,000 people as of the last census.

Dr. Mesfin Loha, World Vision’s Country Director appeals for funding needed for World Vision to respond to the urgent need of the displaced, especially the children. “ We appeal for support to help respond to the urgent – and rising – need of children and the most vulnerable in this emergency. In. the midst of the hunger crisis and COVID-19, the impact to the displaced could be another horrendous tragedy.“

World Vision’s programs in Tambura, Ezo and Nagero counties, supported by the World Food Programme (WFP), UNICEF, Health Pooled Fund (HPF), US Agency for International Development (USAID), and Global Affairs Canada, assists over 170,000 people.

By Enid K Ocaya, Humanitarian Emergency Affairs Manager and Cecil Laguardia, Advocacy and Communications Senior Manager