Khartoum — Khartoum and Juba have extended humanitarian assistance from Sudan to South Sudan for another year, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan reported in its latest biweekly bulletin. In South Darfur, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) verified that about 1,300 people have been temporarily displaced to Kalma camp. In Jebel Marra, aid organisations are working together to respond to the needs of the people. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) received €3.1 million from the EU to assist new South Sudanese arrivals in the country.
On 17 July, the governments of Sudan and South Sudan signed a one year extension of the Memorandum of Understanding, allowing for the movement of humanitarian assistance from Sudan to South Sudan. The extension comes at a critical time as humanitarian needs in South Sudan continue to increase, particularly during the lean season (February-July).
Food insecurity is expected to further deteriorate given the ongoing conflict in the country. Since the opening of the humanitarian corridor in July 2014, a total of 85,700 metric tons (MT) of food assistance has been delivered to South Sudan. In 2017 alone, the World Food Programme (WFP) delivered 21,162 MT of food to some 200,000 conflict-affected and food insecure people in South Sudan's Upper Nile state.
In March this year, the Government of Sudan opened an additional corridor allowing the movement of humanitarian supplies to Unity State. Since then, WFP has delivered 10,109 MT of emergency food assistance to Bentiu to support the critical needs of an estimated 185,000 people in the state. Most recently, the Government of Sudan opened the Meriam and Abyei road routes to allow for the timely delivery of humanitarian assistance to the Greater Northern Bahr El Ghazal area. Under the extended agreement, WFP plans to deliver between 90,000 and 100,000 MT of food assistance over the next year to vulnerable communities in food insecure areas.
Fighting between farmers and pastoralists displaces 1,300 people in South Darfur
From 24 to 25 July the International Organization for Migration (IOM) verified that about 1,300 people have been temporarily displaced from their homes in Hegeir Tono in Beleil locality to Kalma camp following fighting between farmers and pastoralists on 22 July.
In response, the governmental Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) and local authorities carried out a fact-finding mission in Hegeir Tono on 30 July to assess the current situation.
According to the mission findings, police forces have been deployed to the area, improving overall security, while the native administration has managed to defuse the tension between the two communities.
Local authorities are now encouraging the displaced to return to their homes. In Kalma camp, humanitarian actors will provide emergency household supplies and hygiene services to the newly displaced people.
Thousands of students in the Jebel Marra area receive education assistance
As access to the Jebel Marra area improves, aid organisations with the support of State Ministries and local authorities, are working together to identify and respond to the needs of people in the area.
In western Jebel Marra, the Ministry of Education, in collaboration with aid partners, has identified some 45 schools in need of urgent education assistance. This includes construction and rehabilitation of classrooms, as well as the provision of teaching learning and recreational supplies which will benefit an estimated 16,000 school-aged children.
In response, the UN Children's Agency (Unicef) has provided education supplies to Catholic Relief Services. About 10,000 students in the locality have already received school supplies.
Similarly, in central and northern Jebel Marra locality aid organisations are also distributing education supplies to meet the immediate learning needs of 11,000 students, including 8,000 students in Rokoro and 3,000 students in Golo.
Despite the huge needs for education in emergencies, education assistance remains largely underfunded. According to the Financial Tracking Service site, as of 30 July, only 7.4 per cent of the education requirements have been met.
European Union contributes €3.1 million for South Sudanese response in Sudan
In July, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) received €3.1 million from the EU to assist new South Sudanese arrivals in the country.
Nearly 160,000 South Sudanese refugees have arrived in Sudan in the first half of 2017 alone, bringing the total number of South Sudanese refugees who arrived in the country since civil war broke out in mid-December 2013 to 410,000.
This funding will go to address the refugees' immediate needs in White Nile state, and East and South Darfur.
UNHCR and its partners have appealed for $221.7 million for the 2017 South Sudanese Refugee Response Plan for Sudan. As of 27 July, only 22 per cent of funds required have been received so far, according to UNHCR.
White Nile state hosts the largest number of new South Sudanese refugee arrivals (about 40 per cent) in the country, with over 163,000 refuges registered as of 15 July, according to UNHCR's Population and Operational update 1 - 15 July 2017.