Humanitarian impact leaves millions lives at risk
(Juba, 4 July 2022) Life-saving humanitarian operations have been either suspended, reduced, or will be terminated if the funding situation remains as it is. Current estimates indicate that US$400 million dollars are urgently required to provide minimum humanitarian services to alleviate people’s immediate needs.
If not addressed, these funding gaps will leave millions of the most vulnerable people at risk of losing access to vital humanitarian assistance and protection. “The humanitarian context in South Sudan is daunting and is the worst that it has ever been. Everything including protection of women and girls, food, nutrition, and shelter, is needed. There are over two million people displaced in South Sudan, and absence of funding means that those in camps risk to be left in critical need of water, sanitation and hygiene, and health services. The lack of safety and security will further deepen these risks. The resources have dwindled, but lives should not”, said Ms. Sara Beysolow Nyanti, Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan.
For over a decade, the people of South Sudan faced multiple crises. People’s lives have been shattered by years of conflict, social and political instability, unprecedented climate shocks, ongoing violence, frequent displacements, the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity and multiple disease outbreaks.
In South Sudan, some 8.9 million people, more than two-thirds of the population, are estimated to need significant humanitarian assistance and protection in 2022. The Humanitarian Response Plan requests US$1.7 billion to target 6.8 million people with life-saving assistance and protection services. Currently, the humanitarian response plan is funded only at 27 per cent, almost 14 per cent of which was funded by the OCHA-managed Pooled Funds Central Emergency Response Fund and South Sudan Humanitarian Fund. “With such funding gaps, vulnerable suffer more and humanitarian partners are forced to prioritize, making heart-wrenching choices between severe needs. We cannot give up because the cost of inaction is too high, and people in need cannot afford to pay this price. We need urgent funds, and are appealing to the world to remember the most vulnerable in South Sudan”, stated Ms. Nyanti.
The funding gaps are across all humanitarian interventions in the country and severe consequences are likely if urgent financing is not secured. The lack of funding for nutrition support will immediately leave 127,000 children, and 115,000 pregnant or lactating women without vital treatment services. An estimated 1.9 million people will not have access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene services without more funds. As a consequence, illness is likely to rise placing an increased burden on health facilities and drive rising trends of malnutrition. Women and girls risk gender-based violence when attempting to seek water and access to sanitation outside their homes. Food security and livelihoods interruptions will affect almost two million people. Without urgent funding, 1.3 million protection services for an estimated 900,000 people will not be provided. In education, the lack of funding will result in 700,000 vulnerable boys and girls with no access to safe learning spaces and will increase school dropouts, risking 3.5 million children being out of school. Without further funding, eight camps for internally displaced people be left unmanaged. The recent reduction in funding for health interventions directly impacted 220 primary health care units and nine state hospitals, and they risk being forced to discontinue services from August. 2.5 million people who are already in vulnerable health conditions will not have access to health services.
Notes to editors
Humanitarian impact of the break of funding pipeline per clusters
• Nutrition programmes need US$39 million to support immediate vulnerable needs of 127,000 children (6-59 months) and 115,000 pregnant or lactating women. Some US$117 million by the end of July will prevent 285,163 children and 270,219 pregnant or lactating women’s access to vital treatment services.
This puts thousands of children and women at higher risk of death and will jeopardize all gains made to safeguard children and women’s lives. The deterioration of nutrition conditions will further increase the burden and cost to reach the most vulnerable, as children who are severely wasted are 11.6 times more likely to die than children with a normal weight and height.
• The immediate, urgent ask to support the water, sanitation and hygiene interventions is US$19.6 million. Without this funding, an estimated 1.9 million people will not have access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene services. Of these are 300,000 people in internal displacement camps.
Prepositioning of core relief items for some 700,000 projected flood affected people will not be possible, 300,000 people will risk cholera in some areas, 582,000 children under five will be exposed to increased diarrheal disease and will be at risk of dying from severe malnutrition. The lack of funding will have crosscutting consequences such as increased burden on health facilities, increased gender-based violence, affecting women and girls, high likelihood of rising trends of malnutrition.
• Due to funding shortages, the World Food Programme (WFP) has suspended food assistance to 1.7 million people in June. WFP had planned to support 6.2 million people in 2022 with food assistance. For the next 6 months, WFP requires US$426 million to be able to feed 6 million people. Similarly, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) faces a gap of over 70% to reach the targeted 6 million people with a total funding appeal of US$65 million, of which only US$17.5 million has been committed. The situation is especially urgent as the main planting season ends on 15 July. FAO requires US$47.5 million to support emergency food production and livelihoods such as hand tools, vegetables seeds, fishing kits and livestock inputs. The gap for the remaining partners delivering support for food security and livelihoods is estimated at US$65 million.
• South Sudan remains one of the worst protection crises in the world. Without urgent funding of US$30 million, 1.3 million protection services for estimated 900,000 people will not be provided. This will affect psychosocial support to more than 50,000 people, cash-based protection interventions to more than 150,000 people, protection monitoring for identification of most vulnerable, including female headed households, persons with disabilities, awareness raising to 630,000 peoples, peacebuilding activities to more than 600,000 people. The impact will put 508,620 children and adolescents, including those with disabilities, at risk of life-threatening violence, exploitation, recruitment, abuse, and neglect, as they will not receive adequate and timely child protection services. Thirty-four per cent from the overall target, or 30,676 vulnerable women and girls, will not have access to dignity kits that contain sanitary pad and protective equipment. Sixteen women and girl friendly spaces will not be established in priority counties affected by crisis which will deny 78,392 vulnerable women and girls from accessing a critical safe space.
In addition, they will lose a venue for livelihood activities, sexual and reproductive health information, and access to justice services. 68,168 (34% of the overall target) women, girls and GBV survivors will not have access to psychosocial support to build individual and community resilience and support positive coping mechanisms. As a result, they will suffer from psychological trauma, internalized shame, lack of power, depression, isolation, and possibly suicide. If funding is not granted, some 2,000 cases (extremely vulnerable and female headed households are prioritized) would not be processed with legal assistance, and some 10,000 persons would not get counselling on litigation/tenure support, or access to procedures, which may become serious potential threat for conflicts and tensions.
• Partners who provide camp management and humanitarian service monitoring in eight major camps for internally displaced people in Jonglei, central Equatoria, Western Bhar Al Ghazal, Upper Nile and Unity states, face immediate funding gaps of US$9 million. This funding would sustain operations in the camps until the end of the year and provide services to the estimated two million internally displaced people spread across the country in smaller displacement sites. Without further funding, eight camps across the country will be left unmanaged. Without an additional minimum of US$10 million, half of the targeted people will not have shelter. The distribution of shelter and non-food items for people to help them cope with the rainy season will be impacted.
• The recent reduction in funding for health interventions has discontinued supporting 220 primary health care units from April. Support for nine state hospitals will discontinue from August. 901,412 consultations, antenatal services to 24,670 pregnant women, 2,114 safe deliveries (childbirth) and 59,221 children’s vaccination will be affected by discontinuation of support. Medical staff, essential medical supplies, and community health activities will not be available to provide regular health services to 2.5 million population. The reduction in the number of functional health facilities will impact health services for malaria prevention and treatment, routine immunization services screening for TB and malnutrition, mental health and psychosocial services, basic management of SGBV cases, treatment of respiratory infection and diarrhea, maternal and child health services. This will likely lead to increased morbidity and mortality. 2.5 million people are in dire need of health services in addition to 2.5 million population affected by reduced support to regular health services. Humanitarian partners providing health services require a minimum US$46 million targeting vulnerable population of 2.5 million for the next six months in 40 counties in dire need of humanitarian health services.
• Without an urgent US$20 million funding for education activities by end of July, estimated 700,000 vulnerable boys and girls in highest priority locations will have no access to safe learning spaces. This will result in increased school dropouts, putting a total out of school children at 3.5 million. A further estimated 350,000 girls out of school will be exposed to child protection issues and will be at higher risk of GBV and early child marriage/pregnancy affecting their mental health and well-being. 172 schools in internal displacement sites, supporting 94,657 learners (boys and girls) will close. If not provided with WASH/hygiene facilities in schools, children will be at a higher risk of communicable diseases. More children will be exposed to protection risks and engaged in child labour and child exploitation, older children joining the armed group.
South Sudan is one of the most dangerous places for aid workers, with 319 violent incidents reported in 2021 targeting humanitarian personnel and assets, including 5 aid workers killed. Since the beginning of 2022, four humanitarian workers were killed in the line of duty.
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Source: Humanitarian Response